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Rev. M. A. SHERRING, M.A., LL.B., Lond. ; 


''Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienom pato.'* 






[All rlgbts reserved.] 




This work is of a practical character, and professes to be a description of 
the actual circumstances of the castes and tribes, of which it treats. No one can 
be more alive to the difficulty of the task he has undertaken than the writer 
himself. Although he has striven to make the work as complete as possible, 
he is deeply conscious of the imperfectness of his achievement. It has 
appeared to him strange that hitherto no one has attempted to give in English 
a consecutive and detailed account of the castes of India. The author has 
endeavoured to present an outline of them as existing in Benares, the religious 
and social metropolis of India, in the hope that other persons in various parts 
of the country will investigate the subject and add their quota to the enter- 
prise until it be completed. 

Undoubtedly, Benares is a very favourable spot for the commencement 
of a work of this nature. First or last, representatives from all the tribes of 
India come up to the sacred city. Perhaps no city in the world draws to 
itself such a motley assemblage of tribes and tongues. Much information, 
more or less trustworthy, has thus been collected in Benares respecting races 
whos^ haunts are in remote regions of India. Nevertheless, the dissertations in 
this work relating to them must be regarded as simply tentative . Many persons 
who have made certain castes and races their special study would doubtless 
wish for fuller statements about them than have been given here. Those who 
have published their views will find their writings referred to ; so that the reader 
may, if he chooses,, investigate them more thoroughly. Such as have not made 
public their researches, are earnestly requested to do so without delay. It 
should be borne in mind that the object of the author has been to gather 
together in one all the Hindu families with which he was acquainted. A critic, 
living in other parts of the land, would very likely be able to show the incom- 
pleteness of his performance ; and indeed in Benares itself, in spite of his vigi - 
lance, it is not improbable that some castes, where the aggregate number is so 
great, have escaped his notice. 


To his numerous native friends, the author makes the observation, that they 
must not imagine that because he has described their peculiar institution of 
caste in some of its divisions and ramifications, he has done so out of admira- 
tion or even respect for it. He feels for it neither the one nor the other ; but 
regards it as a monstrous engine of pride, dissension, and shame, which could 
only have been invented in an utterly diseased condition of human society. 
Moreover, his intense conviction is, that, next to the universal prevalence of the 
Christian faith, the greatest boon to India would be the absolute and complete 
renunciation of caste. The author has pourtrayed the institution as a phase 
of humanity, and because he considers that every aspect of human society, 
even the most distorted and ugly, should be fairly represented and fully 

^^ Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto." 


Introduction ... . ... ... ... ... ... .„ ... ... i — ix 


The Brahman in relation to the Past, the Present, and the Future ... ... ... ... 1 


Genealogy of the Brahmanical Tribes, and the Classification of their Orders according to their observ- 
ance of the Yedic Rituals — Honorary Titles — Divisions into Clans^Six Special Duties — Religious 
Ceremonies of the Brahmans — The Nakshatras ••• ... ... ... ... ... 6 


Ten Principal Brahmanical Tribes. Supplementary Tribes. The Five Gaur Tribes of Northern India. 
The First Tribe — ^Kanyakubja Brahmans. First Sub-tribe — The Xanyakubja Brahmans Proper. 
Gotras. Clans. Eanoujiya Brahmans of Bengal — ^Yarendra, Rarhiya, Pashchatiya, and Daksh- 
inatiya ••• ••■ «*• i** ••• ••« ••• ••■ ••• ••• **f 


The Sarjup&ria or Sarwariya Brahmans. The Sawalakhi Brahmans. The Mah&-Brahman, or Achaija. 
The Ganga-putra, or Son of the Ganges. The Gayftwai. The PrySgwfil. The Qihl The 
Bhanreriya ... ••■ ••• ..• ••• 

••• ••• m0t 



The BhCdnh&r Brahmans. The Einw&rs. The Bemw&rs. The Sakarwftrs. The Dunw&rs. The Kast- 
wftn. Historical Sketches of the Families of the Maharaja of Benares, the late Raja Sir Deo 
Narain Singh Bahadur, and Babu Futteh Narain Singh ... ••• ... •.. ... 39 

The Jijhotiya Brahmans. Gk>tra8 and Clans ... — ••• ... ... ... ... 55 

• • • 

The StinMhiyft Bf iAniftTm, Gotras and Titles ... ... ... ••• ... ... ... 57 


The Second Tribe of Gaur Brahmans— Sftraswat. Their Antiquity. Their original Home. Four great 

Divisions— Panjftti, Ashtbans^ Bfirahi, and Bawan or Bhunjfiht ... ... .•« ••• 62 



The Third Tribe of Ganr BrahmanB— Gaar. The Taga Brahmans. Their Origin. Sab-diTisions. 

OiaQS ••• ••• a«« aa- ... 

••« ••• 

a.» ••• ••• t.t ••. 



The Fourth Tribe of Gaur Brahmans— MaiOiilar-^Sab^diviflions. Gotras. Clans ••• ..« ... 71 


The Fifth Tribe of Gknr Brahmans — Utkala. First DiTision— Superior Brahmans. Second Division — 
Inferibr Brahmans. Third Division — First Class, Dakhin Srenj; Second Class, Jdjp&r Sreny; 
Third Class, Panjiry Sreny; Fourth Class, Utkal Sreny ... ... ... ••• ... 73 


The five Dr&vira Tribes of Central and Southern India. The Mah&r&shtra Brahmans. Gotras. The 

Eahr^e Brahmans. The Brahmans of Eonkan. Their Gotras and Clans. Bapu Deo Shastri ••• 77 

The Second Tribe of Drftvira Brahmans— Tailanga. Its Eight Divisions ... ..• ... ... 91 

The Third Tribe of Dr&vira Brahmans— Dr&vira. Its Ten Divisions ... ... ... ... 98 


The Fouriih Tribe of Drftvira Brahmans— EarnAta. List of Seventeen Principal Clans. Eight 


The Fifth Tribe of Dr&vira Brahmans — Gnrjar. Eighty-four Sub-Tribes. Clans of the Gujer&tS Brah- 
mans of Benares from Sitp^«patan. The N&gor Brahmans. Two Sub -Tribes— Bhikhshu and 
Alehtft ••• ••• v.. • • ••• «•• ••• .«• ^-m ... 98 


Supplementary Tribes of Brahmans. The Sdk&dwtpt or Magadha Brahmans. The Mathurft Chaubi 
Brahmans. The M&lwft Brahmans. The Eurm&chalS Brahmans. The Naip&Ii Tribes. The 
Edshmiri Brahmans. The Sapt-Shati Tribe. The Shenevi Brahmans. The Palashe Tribe ... 102 



Social Position of Rajpoots. List of the Thirty-six Royal Tribes. Rajpoot Tribes of Benares. Rajpoot 

Tribes of Oudh ••• ••• ••• ••• ... ... ... •,. ••• 117 


Gahlot or Grahilot Tribe. Sisodiya Branch. The Maharaja of Vizianagram. The Earchuliya Clan ••• 125 

The Tomara or Tuar, Barwar, R&tbor, and EachhwAhfi Tribes -* ^ ... ^. .„ 137 

• • 



The Agnikulas or Fire Races. 

1. The Pramapa Tribe. The Dore Clan. 2. The Parih&r& Tribe. 8. The Chalukiya or Solankhi 

Tribe. The Baghel Tribe. The Bhfil or Bh&l&.Sultfin Tribe ... 145 


4.->The Chaohftn Tribe. The Bhadaurija, Bachgoti, Bilkhariya, Rajwdr, Rajkum&r, Hftrft, Khicbt, 

Bargy&n, and Naikumbh Tribes ... ... ,,, ... ... •• ... ... 160 

The Gaur, Amethija, Katharija, Gaharwir, Bondela, Einwfir, Bijhonija, Bijherija, Agaatw&r, and 

>JBU1 JL nOCB ... ..I •-. (•■ ... ■•• ... ... ••• .a* XfX 


The Chandela, Sengarh^ Sakarwftr, Eausik, Dangast, Eachhaora, Barhaija, and Horija or Horaija 

X noes ••• ... ... ••• ... ... ... ..• ... •••! ou 

The Bais, Cbananija or Chanamijan, and Ghirg or Gargbansi Tribes ... ... ... ... 192 


The Gautam, Dikshit, Pachtoriya, Simet, Dorgbansi, Dhrigubansi, Raghabanrt, Sri Mat Sonwan, Bioriha, 

and Bhatharija or Bataorija Tribes ... ..: ... ... ... ... ... 202 


The Hayobans, Bachalgoti, Monas, Biaen, R&jpusi, Raikw&r, Sarpakharija, Dhanis, Lathor, and Patsariya 

Xnbes ... ... •■• •*• ••• .•• ••• ... ... ... 213 


The Yadn or Jadubanst, Ban&phar, Bhrigubansi, Baharwaliya or Barhauliya, SCbrajbansi, Chandrabanat, 
Sombansiy Nfigbanst, Ednpuriya, JaniitiirwA, Sonak, Tashaiya, Sarwar or Sorwftr, Ujain, Dhanawast, 
Chanpata Ehambh, Bhanwag, Niniarw&r, Nanwag, Earamw&r, Sangjal, Surhaniya, PalwAr or Pali- 
wfir, Singhel or Singali, Patili, and Hardwftr Tribes ... ... ... .,. 222 

The J&t and GCkjar Tribes ... ... ... ... ... ••« ... ... „. 283 


The Donw&r, Lautamia, E&kan, Sukalbans, Eulhan, Mahror or Mahrawar, Rawat, Teha, Chakw&f n, Bora, 
Baheriyai and Ehasiya Tribes ... ••• ••• ... ... ... ... ,„ 238 



On The Social and Political Relations of the Vusyas mid Sudras. Ceremonies among the Sadra Castes 247 



Sects of Devotees and Religious Mendioants. 

Gosain, Dandi, Tridandi, Jogt, Sanjd^t, Bairligl, Sri Yaishnaya, Rfidbft Vallabhl, Bharthari, Ranphatha, 
Jangam, Digambar, Sanjogrl, Nirm&lt, Sakbpanni; fi&m-margt, Rb&k, Bait&Ii-Bbfit, Sbarbbfinge, 
Sakbibbao, AbbjSgat, Kancbdbi, Paubftri, Sbiv&cbftii, Brambacbftri, Sewarft, Jati, Akasbmakbi, 
Urddbb&bii, Mauntddsi, Abadbiita, Sadbanpanti, Hariscbandi, KartftbbajA, Rftmfiyat, Rimanandi, 
GbarandaiD, Raid&spantbi, Dddupantbi, Udfisi, Nfinak-sb&bi, Eiikapaiitbi, Ak&li, Satbra, Agbori, 
Babikaiba, Eapdlt ... ... ... ... ... ••• •.. ••• .. 255 


Bards, Musioians, Singers, Dancers, Buffoons, 8co. 

Bbftt, Ratbak, R&mjand, Db&rbl, Eal&vant, Mir^l, GaunbariD, Bband, P&warija, Bbairija, Bbagatija, 

Kanfirttpiya ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ^z i 


Oastes of Bankers, Merchants, and Tradera 

Kbatii, Rai Sankta Prasad. Rora, Purw&l, Palliw&I, Unaje, and Rauni&r ... •.. ... ... 277 


Oastes of Traders.— (Continued.) 

A gar w Ilia ... ... ... .• ••• ... ... ••• ••• ••• ••• ^oo 


Oastes Ot TrB,derB.—( Continued.) 

Osw&l, Baba Siva Prasad, C.S.I., Rastogt, Agrabr!* Dbiisar, Bandarw&r, Dbftnuk, Mabesbwari, Sont, 
VisbnM, Patbel, Srt M&l, Sri Sri Mftl, Sri Mfil Pattan, Baranw&r, Mabobift, Lobiya, Jftti, Jaisw&l, 
Barbseni, Bauddb-Mati, Kbareliw&l^ Easarw&ni, Ummar, Elasaundban, Eusbtft, Mabru, and 
isanjara ... ..• •.• »%• ••# ... •«, .. ... ,,. 289 


Small Traders. 

Confectioners, Oilmen, Hawkers, Drug and Perfume-sellers, Spirit-sellers, and Grain-roasters. Halwfii, 

Teli, Bisftti, Gandbi, Ealwar, Bbunja or Bbar-Bbunja ... ... ... ... ... 300 


The Writer Oaste. 

Tbe Eayasib or Writer Caste. Tbe Eayastbs of Bengal. Babu Guru D&s Mitra .. ... ... 305 


• • • . - • • • 

Ooldsmitlis and jTeweilers ; Artizans and Manu&cturers ; Potters and Rope- 
makers ; Braziers, Iron-smelters, &c. 

SonAr, Ni&riya, Barbai, Ebarftdi, LobAr, Qalaigar, Sandbara or Barbija, Labera, EumbAr, Eamangar 
and Tirgar, Hawaigar, Dabgar, Patwa or Patabra> Banbatta, Cbiirib&r, Easera, Tbatbera, Bbariya, 
anQ \^Qniya ... •«. ••• ... ••• ... ••• ... ... ,.. 314 


. Agricultural Oastes. Pawn Growers and Sellers. 

Eumbbi, Eoeri, Eftcbbi, Eukani, Eutwftr, Bbiirtija Mfili, Gandri, Eunjrd, R&ngar, Dbailpbora, Barayf, 

and xamDoii ... ... ..• ••• •■• .•• ... ... ... «•• 3^3 



Oastes of Herdsmen, Shepherds, Sco. 

Ahir, Ahar, Garariya, and Riw&ri ... ... ... ... .., ... ... ... 332 


Oastes of Personal Attendants and Servants. 

Kah&r, Kanhar, Goaiyad, Dirzt, N&u or Hajfim, Dhobi, Farwanija, Jalwfi, or Jal4Ii3ra, Dhankar, Barg&hi, 

and Kamkar ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 339 


Oastes of Weavers, Thread-spinners, Dyers, Boatmen, Salt-manufacturers, 

and others. 

Katera or Dbuniya, Eol, Tftnti, Tantra, Katoh, Rangrez, Chhip}, Mall&h, Nunija or Lunija, BeldAr, 

Bhadj&ri, Bhartiil, and Pallid&r 345 


Hunters and Fowlers. 

Bahelija or Badhak, Karoal, and Arakh ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 352 


Tog Boar TriD6 •.• ••• >•• ••• ••• ■•• ••• ••* ••• •■• 357 

The Cherd, Tharii, Seori, Eol, Kharwftr, or Eaurw&r and Baw&ry& Tribes ... ... ... ... 376 


Gipsies, Jugglers, Rope-Danoers, SnaJce-Cliarmers, TMmble-Riggers, 

and Robbers. 

Kat, Kanjar, Madftri, Chat, and Badhak ... ... ... ... ••• ... ... 386 


Workers in Leather, Labourers, Servants, Workers in Oane and Palm- 
Leaves, Scavengers. 

Chamdr, DosAdh, Dhark&r, Mihtar or Bhangi ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 391 


Village Watohmen, Poulterers, Burners of the Dead. 

Piiaii BJiatik| Doniy Achari ... •«• ••« •.• ... .•• ... •— ••• 398 


Inferior Oastes Living Ohiefly on the Borders of Towns and Villages, 

or in the Jungle. 

Dhangar, Ban, Ved, Dhamik]! Aheli^a or Aheriya ».. ... ... ... ^ .. 40S 



f late I. — Bearded Bhar Figures 


... End of Chapter on the Bhar Tribe. 






m.— Ditto 






y.^Head and Head-dresa of Ck>Io8sal Statue 







While Brahmanical families in early times preserved, with great and unremitting 
care, the purity of their race, nevertheless, it is plain, from the statements of Manu, that 
many new tribes were oontinaally being created by the intercourse of Brahmans with 
women of other castes. For instance, a son of a Brahman married to a woman of the Yajsya 
caste, was called Ambashtha, or Vaidya ; and a Brahman's son of a Sudra wife was called 
Nish&da, and also P&rasava (a). The same origin is assigned by the Dharm& Pur&na to 
the Varajivt, or astrologer {b); and by the Tantra, to the Brahme-sudra (c). From 
the marriage of a Brahman with a Kshatriya woman, according to the same Pur&na, have 
sprung the Kumbhak&ra, or potter, and Tantrav&ya, or weaver {d) ; and from a Brahman 
husband and Vaisya wife, the Eansak&ra, or brazier, and the Sankhak&ra, or worker in 
shells (e). Again, Manu states, that the male progeny of Brahman husbands and Kshatriya 
wives occupied a rank between the two, and were termed Milrdh&bhishikta, M&hishya, 
and Karana, or Kayastha (/). These were not illicit connexions, but connexions of 
marriage, recognized as such by all classes, and regarded as honourable and right. The 
only difference between them and marriages of Brahmans with Brahman women was, that 
the children of the latter marriages continued in the same caste as both their parents, and 
therefore possessed, socially and legally, far greater privileges than children of the 
other marriages. 

A Brahman could be married to women taken from all four of the prime castes, — ^that is 
to say, he might have, for example, four wives, the first taken from the Brahmanical caste, the 
second from the Kshatriya caste, the third from the Vaisya caste, the fourth from the Sudra 
caste {g)> The sons of these wives inherited differently. The son of the Brahmani wife 
received four parts out of ten of the inheritance ; the son of the Kshatriya wife, three ; 
the son of the Vaisya wife, two; and the son of the Sudra, one (A). But it is specially 
added, in regard to the son of a Sudra woman and Brahman father, he could inherit nothing 
unless his mother had been lawfully married to his father ; and the same observation is 

(a) Manu, Chap. X., 8. 

(Tbi) Colebrooke*8 Essajs, p. 272, 

(c) Ibid. 

(d) md. 

(e) Oolebrooke's Essays, p. 272. 
(/) Manu, Chap. X., 6. 
(jg) Mann, Chap. IX., 149. 
{h) Ibid, 158. 



made likewise respecting the son of a Sudra woman and a Eshatriya or Vaisya father (a). 
This relationship subsisting between husband and wife of two different^ not to say widely 
separated^ castes^ was not held to be disgraceful or worthy of denunciation. On the con- 
trary, while it was less dignified for a Brahman to marry a woman of a lower caste than a 
woman of his own, yet marriage in the one case was just as legal as marriage in the 

But it was not the peculiar privilege of the Brahman to solicit the hand of a woman of 
another caste. The same privilege was enjoyed by members of all the higher castes in 
regard to castes beneath them. Indeed, apparently, there was no such rigid restriction in 
those early ages on intermarriages like that which exists among the castes at the present 
day. It was considered to bd improper for men of the superior castes to take their first 
wives from any caste except their own ; but their other wives might be taken from the 
lower castes with propriety. It is explicitly stated by Manu, that a Yaisya man might 
take a Yusya, and also a Sudra, woman, to be his wives ; and a Elshatriya man might take 
a Eshatriya, a Yaisya, and a Sudra woman, for his wives (&). From the union of a 
Elshatriya husband with a Sudra sprang the Ugra, the N&pita, or barber, and the Maudaka, 
or confectioner (c). The Tambuli, or betel seller, and the Tanlika, i^ere, says the Dfaarm& 
Purina, the fruit of the union of Yaisya men with Sudra women {d). 

Moreover, many castes have originated from the marriage of men with women of castes 
higher than their own. Some of these connexions are spoken of with strong disappro- 
bation ; nerertheless, they were permitted, and the law gave them its protection. The 
S&ta came from a Kshatriya husband and Brahmani wife; and the M&gadha and Yaidiha, 
from the union of a Yaisya with a Brahmani (e ). From a Sudra father and Brahmani 
mother, the Chand&la was bom. The EJshatri or Kshatta sprang from a Sudra and Ksha- 
triya woman ; the Ayc^ava from a Sudra and a Yaisya woman ; the Karmak&ra, or smith, 
and D&sa, or sailor, from the union of Sudras with Kshatriya women (/). <^ The J&tim&UL," 
says Mr. Colebrooke, " expressly states the niunber of forty-two mixed classes, springing 
from the intercourse of a man of inferior with a woman of superior class" (^). 

Other castes were formed by the marriage of members of the four castes with mem- 
bers of the irregular castes. The offspring of a Brahman and an Ugra woman was an 
Avrita ; of a Brahman and an Ambastha woman, an Abhira ; and of a Brahman and an 
Ayogava woman, a Dhigvana (A). The Pukkasa caste came from the son of a Sudra 
woman and a Nish&da husband ; and the Kukkutaka caste, from the son of a Nish&da 
woman by a Sudra husband (t). 

New castes were created likewise by the intermarriage of the irregular castes. It is 
manifest that these latter tribes soon fell into the habits of their progenitors, and not only 

(a) Manu, Chap. IX., 155. 

(b) UtAu, Chap, m., 13. 

(c) Golebrooke*s EasajB, p. 278. 
{d) Ibid. 

(e) Manu, Chap. X., 11. 

(/) Colebrooke*8 EssajB, p. 274. 

(g) Ibid, 274, 275. 

(h) Manu, Chap. X., 15. 

(i) Ibid, 18. 

mTR06uCTIO]9; xvii 

established themselves in separate castes, but endeavoured to keep such castes, pure by 
removing from their midst the issue of marriages between themselves and women of other 
castes, or between the members of one irregular caste atfd the members of other irregular 
castes. Hence a further sub-division of tribes. The son of a Kshatri man and an Ugra 
woman became a Swap&ka ; and the son of a Vaidiha man and an Ambastha woman became 
a Vena (a). Again, from the union of a Vaidiha with an Ayogava woman, came the 
Maitriyaka caste; of a Nish&da with an Ayogava woman, the M&rgava, or Dftsa, called 
also, says Manu, Kaivarta, by people dwelling in Arya-varta; of a Nish&da with a 
Vaidiha woman, the K&r&vera ; of a Viddiha with a K&r&vera woman, the Andhra ; of 
a Vaidiha with a Nish&da woman, the Mida ; of a Chand&Ia with a Vaidiha woman, 
the P&ndusop&k& ; of a Nish&da with a Vaidiha woman, the Ahindika ; of a Chand&la 
with a Pukkasa woman, the Sop&ka ; of a Chand&la with a Nish&da woman, the Antyfi- 
vas&yin; and of a Dasya, one of the aboriginal tribes, with an Ayogava woman, the 
Sairindhra {b). 

Many castes were also created by persons driven from their own tribes through the 
infraction or non-performance of caste rules. Sons born of Brahman parents, failing to 
perform the assigned ceremonies on being invested with the Brahmanical cord, or in any 
other way breaking the rules of their order, became outcasts, were debarred from the 
privilege of the gayatrt^ and were styled Vr&tyas. From them sprang castes designated 
Bhiirjakantaka, Avantya, V&tadh&na, Puehpadha, and Saikha (c). Similarly, outcasts from 
the Kshatriya tribe founded the following castes : Jhalla, Malla, Nichhivi, Nata, Karana, 
Khasa, and Dr&vira {d). From outcasts of the Vaisya tribe sprang the Sudhanwan, 
Ch&rya, K&rusha, Vijanman, Maitra, and S&twata castes (e). 

Inattention to religious duties, or neglect of Brahmans, was evidently, in those days of 
punctilious ceremonies and priestly domination, sufficient reason for expulsion from caste. 
No fewer than twelve castes are stated by Manu to owe their origin to persons ejected 
from the ELshatriya tribe alone, for the reasons just given. They are as follows : Paun- 
draka, Udra, Dr&vira, K&mboja, Yavana, Saka, P&rada, Pahlava, China, Eir&ta, Derada, 
and Khasa (/). 

Had the creation of new castes continued to be made in succeeding ages with' the same 
ease and rapidity as they were in these earlier times, it is plain that the casjbe system 
would have destroyed itself, in two ways, — first, by the multiplication of new castes through- 
out the land, and, secondly, by the intermarriages of all the castes. The increased Btric« 
tures imposed upon the castes, especially upon the primary ones, and the prohibition of 
irregular marriages, — that is, of marriages of members of one caste with members of 
another, — gave in later years strength and vitality to a system which otherwise must soon 
have become extinguished. At what epoch this fundamental change in its constitution 
was made, is not known, but it is a question worthy of thorough investigation. 

(a) Manu, Chap. X., 19. (d) Manu, Chap. X., 22. 

(6) Ihid, 32-^9. («) Ibid, 28. 

(c) Ibid, 20, 21. (/) Ibid, 48, 44. 



The dear and explicit statementa of Manu are deeiaive on the causes of the multiplioa* 
tion of castes in his day. Indeed, it is evident that some of the lowest castes, perhapa 
many, were in part derived from the highest. The Chandftia, for instance, although 
held in abomination by all the tribes, simply because his Sudra father was fortunate enough 
to marry a Brahman woman, was in reality half a Brahman. The Ugra, too, who is 
depicted as a man of ferocious bearing, cruel and mean, was nevertheless half a Kshatriya, 
but, in public estimation, belonged to a debased tribe. If the existing low-caste races of 
India are, for the most part, as some suppose, the descendants and representatives of degraded 
castes created as above described, it must then in fairness be acknowledged, that many of 
them are more or less tinctured with either Brahmanical, Kshatriya, or Yaisya blood. 

This, however, very inadequately exhibits the whole case. The Nish&da was the sou 
of a Brahman and a Sudra; and the Yaidiha, the son of a Yaisya and a Brahmani. The 
son of a Nish&da married to a Yaidiha woman founded a new caste, as already stated, 
namely the Kftr&vera, a low, ignominious tribe, whose occupation was to handle and trade 
in leather (a) ; yet, as to blood, he was one half a Brahman, one quarter a Yaisya, and one 
quarter a Sudra. Again, the son of a Nishftda father and Chand&la mother was one half a 
Brahman and the other half a Sudra. His caste of Anty&va^ayin had for its occupation the 
burning of dead bodies, and was held in the utmost abhorrence, '* contemned even by the 
contemptible " (i). The following is a list of inferior castes, with their pedigrees and 
occupations, derived entirely from Manu (c) : 




Proportion of Brah- 
man, Kshatriya, 
Yaisya, and Sudra 

QcenpatioD, Residence, &c. 







{Brahman fiiiher 
Yaisya mother 

{Brahman father 
Sudra mother 

{Kshatriya fitther 
Sudra mother 

{Yaisya father 
Kshatriya mother 

{Kshatriya father 
Brahman mother 

{Yaisya father 
Brahman mother 

{Sudra &ther 
Yaisya mother 







{Half Brahman 
Half Yaisya 

{Half Brahman 
Half Sudra 

C Half Kshatriya 
I Half Sudra 

{Half Yaisya 
Half Kshatriya 

C Half Kshatriya 
\ Half Brahman 

( Half Yaisya 
( Half Brahman 

C Half Sudra 
X Half Yaisya 

"* I Physician. 

*" t Fisherman. 
... j 

... C Fierce and cruel. Hunts animals that dwell 
... ( in holes. 

}C Not permitted to per* 
TraTelling Merchants form rites in honor 
( of his forefathers. 

... C Horse trainer, and 1 j^. 

.,. I earner ... 3 uivw. 

> Attends on Women ... Ditto ditto. 

> Carpenter 

{Ditto. Most degrade 
ed of mortals. 

(a) Mann, Chap. X., 86. 
(6) IHd, 89. 

(c) Manu, Chap. X., 8—51, 




Froportion of B r a h » 
man, Kshatriya, 
Vaisya, and Badra 

OccopatioDy Residence, ftc. 

ChaadAla ... 


Abhfra ••. 

Dhigrana ... 

Piikkasa ... 
Kukkutaka . 
Swapika ... 





{Sudra father 
Kshatriya mother 

{Sudra father 
Brahman mother 

{Brahman father 
Ugra mother 

C Brahman fiither 
( Ambaatha mother 

{Brahman father. 
Ayogava mother 

{Nishftda father 
Budra mother 

) Sudra father 
) Nish&da mother 

Unra father 
Rhatri mother 

{Vaidiha father 
Ambaatha mother 


{Vaidiha father 
Ajogava mother 

] Nishida fitther 
Ajogava mother 


{Dasya father 
Ajogava mother 

VA^^^.^ i Niahftda fiither 

Airftvera ... | Vaidiha mother 

. ,, i Vaidiha &ther 

Andhra ... j KftrAvara mother 


{Vaidiha father 
Nishida mother 

Q. AVo S Chandftla father 

sop&ka ... I Pukkaaa mother 

Au- ^'i. f Nishftda father 

Ahmdika ... I y^^^ ^^^^^ 

AntyftvasAjm j ^.^^^^ ^^^^ 


... ( Half Sudra 
•.. ( Half Kshatrija 

j live in holes 

:;: I- 

• *« 

Ditto ditto. 

• CNotpenhittedtoperfona 
\ Hunts animals that J rites in honor of his 

,,. J forefathers. Most de- 
(. graded of mortals. 

...(Half Sudra 
... ( Half Brahman 

C Half Brahman. 
'" i One quarter Kshatrija. 
*" ( One quarter Sudra. 

... 5 Three quarters Brahman. 
... ( One quarter Vaisja. 

r Half Brahman ... '\ 

'"' < One quarter Vaisja ... > Seller of Leather. 
••• ( One quarter Sudra ... J 

:::{Thre2"(J![^teSSd^^ } Hunto animab that Uve in holes. 

... 5 Three quarters Sudra. 
... ( One quarter Bndiman. 

... C Half Kshatrija 
... I Half Sudra 

'" ( Most live outside the village or town. 

I.. 1 

( Musician. 

... C Half Brahman 
... ( Half Vaisja 

r Half Brahman ... 1 

*" i One quarter Vaisja ... > Sounds a bell at dawn. 
**' ( One quarter Sudra ... J 

r Half Sudra ... ) 

*** i One quarter Brahman > Boatman. 
•*" ( One quarter Vaisja ... J 

r Half Dasja. 
'" i One quarter Vaisja. 
•••(One quarter Sudra. 

r Half Brahman ... 1 

••• -< One quarter Vaisja ..% > Leather trader. 
••• (One quarter Sudra ... J 

- { Three-S^ThT Vaisja" \ Hunte wild animals, i ^"?* "^® ^^*^^« *^« 

- I One-eighth Sudra ... J I ^*««« ^' *^™- 

THalf Brahman ... 1 

- 4 One quarter Vaisja... V Ditto ... Ditto. 
"• ( One quarter Sudra ... J 

THalf Brahman ... "^ 

'" i One quarter Vaisja .. > Works in cane and reeds. 
'•• ( One quarter Sudra ... J 

... C Three-eighths Brahman ( Executes punishment ) a • &.! ^ «. 
... I Five-eighths Sudra ... \ on criminals .. f^ ^^^ wretch. 

r Half Brahman ... "^ 
'••< One quarter Vaisja . > Jailor. 
••• (One quarter Sudra ... J 

... ( Half Brahman 
... ( Half Sudra 

... ... 


•.. ... 

•.• ... 

... ) Aasteto in boming f Held » *»>« ««»*«» 
... I thedeMl ^1 £S! 

Hunts wild aoimalB. 



In addition to the above^ there were evidently many other castes of an inferior order. 
Manu mentions five tribes of outcast Brahmans (a) ; seventeen of outcast Eshatriyas (6) ; 
six of outcast Yaisyas (c). Three castes of Brahmanical rank, on the mother's side, 
and three others of Kshatriya or Vaisya rank, on the same side, produced by intermar- 
riages with women of their own tribed a great number of mean and degrad.ed races {d). 
The same six castes by marrying into other castes, superior to themselves in rank, 
originated fifteen new castes; and by marrying into others of a lower ^ank, fifteen 
more (e). 

Altogether, Manu gives the names of a considerable number of degraded >castes. But 
in reality he does much more than this, in supplying us with a key to the entire caste sys- 
tem, in its development from the four primitive castes. Griven the four chief castes, he 
shows how from them new castes may be made in an .unending series; and. furnishes 
elaborate illustrations of the method pursued in his day. His statements are in accord- 
ance with human nature, and with the usages of other races. Nothing is plainer than 
that, practically, in Manu's time, Hindus of the superior castes commonly intermarried 
with the inferior castes. Undoubtedly, the children of these intermarriages had a stain 
upon them ; but this circumstance imposed little apparent check on the intermarriages 
themselves. Although there is considerable discrepancy in the accounts of Manu and 
other Hindu writers respecting these matters, nevertheless, if the words of Manu are 
worthy of credit, it is proved, beyond all dispute, that, in the epoch in which he lived, 
inferior castes were created on an extensive scale. 

Taking it for granted, that existing castes in India are in the main representatives of 
ancient castes, it is manifest that, if there be any truth in the statements of Manu, they 
are, with few exceptions, like their ante-types, of a very mixed character. The exceptions 
are the Brahmanical, Kshatriya, and perhaps some of the Yaisya castes. All other castes 
are of mixed blood. This includes, of course, the Sudras, who, at the present time, consist of 
a multitude of castes ; and in the age of Manu, although reckoned as now among the four 
oiiginal castes, were, in comparison with the first three, regarded as mean and disreputable. 

It is a question not yet settled, whether the primitive castes were three or four in 
number. It is strongly contended by some persons that the Sudras are not at all of Aryan 
origin, and it is pretty certain that the Yaisyas were once an agricultural rape." On this 
subject, the remarks of Dr. John Muir on a paper, by Dr. H. Kern, Professor of Sanskrit 
in the University of Leyden, entitled " Indische TheorieSa over the Standenverdeeling 
(Indian Theories on the Division into Castes)," read before the Dutch Boyal Academy 
of Science, in the Literary Department,. are of considerable interest. "In this disserta- 
tion Dr. Kern combats the idea, that the caste system arose during the Yedic era, since 
it was already regarded as an institutioii as old as the sun and moon by the author of the 

{a) Mapu, Chap. X., 21. (d) Manu, Chap. X., 29. ' 

(b) Ibid, 22, 44. . (e) Ibid, 31. . 

(c) lbid,23, ..... 


Pariisha Siikta ; so that it is indifferent to the solution of tUe question whetHer that well- 
known hymn is one of the most recent in the Bik-sanhitft or liot ' At the same time> 
Dr. £ern observes that there is nothing to show whether all the .legal prescriptions relating to 
caste were at that time in force, or even theoretically known or not. Professor Kern also 
points to the fourfold division of classes as being found in the Zendavesta (in this he had 
been preceded by Professor Hang, at least in so far as the recognition of three classes goes); 
and concludes from this, as well as from the evidence of the Purusha Siikta, that the 
fourfold cafite-^ivision is more ancient than^the old extant Indian sources. It is to be 
hoped that these views of Professor Kern will attract the attention of other Zend and 
Sanskrit scholars, and be thoroughly discussed. ^ Truth like a torch, the more it^s shook, 
it shines' '* (a). 

Whether the Sudras were Aryans, or. aboriginal inhabitants of India, or tribes pro-> 
duced by the union of the one with the other, is of little practical moment. They 
were at an early period placed in a class by themselves, and received the fourth or last 
degree of rank, yet at a considerable distance from the three superior castes. Even 
though it be admitted that at the outset they were not Aryans, still, from their extensive 
intermarriages with the three Aryan castes, they have become so far aryanized that, 
in some instances, as already shown, they have gained more than they have lost, and 
certain tribes now designated as Sudras are in reality more Brahmans and Kshatriyas 
than anything else. In short, they have become as much absorbed in other races as the 
Celtic tribes of England have become absorbed in the Anglo-Saxon race ; and their own 
separate individuality, if they ever had any, has completely vanished. 

On the other hand, it is plain that not a few of the aboriginal tribes of India 
retiring into the fastnesses of the country as the Aryan races advanced, maintained their 
distinctiveness for many ages, and still maintain it. Other aboriginal tribes intermingled 
with their conquerors to such an extent that it is impossible to draw a line of demarcation 
between them. All that can be affirmed respecting them is, that they either belong to 
some of the many ramifications of the great Sudra caste, or to castes of a lower grade still. 

The only castes, therefore, that have, for the most part, preserved their purity of 
blood, are the Brahmans, Kshatriyas, and perhaps some of thfi^ Vaisyas. I say for the 
most part, because, in former days, an intruder might, under certain circumstances, enter 
one or other of the privileged castes. Many Brahmans, Kshatriyas, or Yaisyas, may 
have become outcast, or may have married women of inferior castes, so that their 
offspring, of necessity, were cut off from their own tribes. In this manner, members of these 
castes, or children partly sprung from them, may have been merged in the lower castes. 
But none of the lower castes could easily enter the upper, which are consequentiy, as just 
remarked, comparatively pure-blooded castes. All the rest are of impure or mixed blood. 
I use the word * comparatively ' as simply distinguishing the three higher from all the 
remaining castes, for stringent as the laws of caste have been, yet even these three have 

(a) Trubner'a Literary Record, for June 1871, p. 188. 


not been able to preserve themeelTeB from an occasional taint The least affected hate 

been the Brahmani ; «nd the most, the Yaisyas. The infanticide practised by Bajpoots 

has been a fruitfnl canse of the intermingling of low caste blood with their own. Failing 

^ to secare wiyes for their sons, on account of the great paucity of girls in their own tribes, 

they have, for many generations, contracted alliances with girls of low castes, especially the 
R&j Bhars, who, having been purchased or carried off from their families, have been 
transformed into Rftjpfttanis, or wives of RAjpoots. 

We thus arrive at the conclusion, th^^xisting Hindu castes are of two kinds : 
first, those of comparatively pure blood, Brahmans, Kshatriyas, and perhaps some of the 
Vaisyas ; secondly, those of impure or mixed blood, embracing al^he castes not included 
in the first division. The first have maintained their individuality irom ancient times to 
the present The rest have not done so ; but have intermarried with the higher castes, 
with one another, and with conquered aboriginal races. 

Unlike the superior castes, the mixed castes have, in the lapse of time, not only 
changed their names, but, probably, to some extent, their occupation likewise ; and, there- 
fore, it is hardly possible, except in rare cases, to trace them to their origin. There is 
one peculiarity observable in all the castes in modem days, not to be found in any one of 
them in primitive ages. The facility for intermarriages has given place to rigid exclu- 
siveness, so that it is now absolutely impossible for the pure castes to intermarry with 
the mixed, or for the mixed to intermarry with one another. No one ever hears of 
a Brahman marrying a Vaisya, much less a Sudra ; or of a Kshatriya marrying a Yaisya ; 
or of a Vaisya marrying a Sudra; or even of one Sudra caste intermarrying with another 
Sudra caste; yet all such Intermarriages were permitted In early Hindu times. But 
the peculiarity becomes more striking still when we look into the constitution of the 
' separate castes. Each caste contains usually several, sometimes many, sub-divisions or 
I sub-castes. For example, the Kayasth, or writer caste, in the North- Western Provinces, 
I has twelve sub-divisions. These cannot eat rice together, nor can they intermarry except 
with the first of the twelve. Again, the Barhai or carpenter caste has seven sub-castes, 
which are so distinct from one another that they hold no direct social intercourse with 
each other, either by marriage, or by eating or smoking together. I am unable to afford 
any information either respecting the causes of the cessation of intermarriages between 
the castes, or respecting the epoch or epochs when it occurred ; nor am I aware that 
Hindu writings throw any important light on this phenomenon. 

It is worthy of note that, in adhering to certain important caste rules and distinctions, 
many of the lower castes are much more rigid than the higher castes. The Barhai caste, 
just referred to, is an instance in point. Its sub-divisions cannot intermarry. Yet 
Brahmans of the same tribe, in all its clans and sub-divisions, commonly intermarry ; 
and Rajpoots, not merely of one tribe, but of many, frequently intermarry, and come to 
each other's festivals. The Cham&r, or leather-dealer, is many degrees lower in the social 
scale than the Barhai ; nevertheless, all the seven clans which compose that caste are 
every whit as stringent and exclusive on the subject of marriage as the separate clans of 

• •• 


tlie Barhai caste. It is hard to account for this strange spirit of ezolusiYeness among the 
lower castes, not found, to the same extent, among the higher. Perhaps it arose originally 
from their servile imitation of the social rigidity of the upper castes. Being more igno- 
rant and less intelligent, they have copied their masters so closely and pertinaciously that 
at last they have gone beyond them. But this is mere conjecture. 

How it came to pass that castes became split up into a number of sub-divisions, each 
cherishing a spirit of iron ezdusiveness in regard to the rest, is a question much more 
easy of solution than that just started ; and has already been, to some extent, discussed. 
Many of these sub-divisional distinctions are territorial, and were occasioned by the dis- 
persion of a caste, which thenceforward became known by appellations superadded to its 
own, denoting the towns, cities, or districts, in which its scattered members resided. In 
this manner the caste separated into clans, each of which managed its own affairs, held 
panchayats or councils, and maintained a distinct and independent existence. As these 
clans were not amenable to one another or to the caste itself considered as a federal 
whole, gradually they became jealous of each other's rights, and at length, impelled by 
the national habit of exdusiveness, abandoned one another reciprocally, and assumed 
to themselves absolutely all the functions and prerogatives of castes. 

It is common to speak of the castes of India in their relation to the Hindu religion ; 
and in that light they may very properly be regarded. Yet they sustain another highly 
important relation. Ethnologically they are so many tribes and clans, with separate 
histories and customs. The members of a caste are, doubtless, united together by peculiar 
sacred and social ties. In addition, they bear a tribal relation to one another of great 
significance. Each caste, in virtue of its distinctiveness, and of its holding no marriage 
connexion with other castes, either in its neighbourhood or elsewhere, is in fact a tribe 
governed by laws of the most imperious character. The races of men, whether in ancient 
or modem times, have seldom, in any country, been divided into separate tribes and clans 
by such sharply-defined boundaries, over which it is impossible for one to pass to another, 
as we find separating the various castes of India, Indeed, so absolute and tyrannical is 
this spirit of exdusiveness, that the castes are taught to believe that there is a natural ^s- 
tinction subsisting between them which utterly forbids their union. In many cases, 
as already observed, the sub-divisions of the same caste hold no intercourse with one 
another, and do not intermarry. These I have frequentiy termed clans, for the reason that 
they profess to belong to one and the same caste and tribe, and in all likelihood actually 
sprang from one source, yet being practically distinct tribes. Nevertheless, I have thought 
it better to speak of them as clans and sub-divisions rather than as separate tribes. 

It will thus be understood why, in designating many of the castes, I have frequently 
employed the word * tribe,' and not the word ' caste' ; and have preferred the use of ethno- 
logical terms to a term which is used only very partially in au ethnological sense^ and 
is associated with other And different questions. 


« p 





The Brahman occupies the highest rank among Hindus for at least three 
reasons. The first is his assumed sanctity. By the people generally he is 
regarded as a pure, stainless, twice-born being, divine as well as human, worthy of 
unbounded admiration and worship. He is the priest of the Hindu religion, 
directing the ceremonies performed at the temples, sacred wells, sacred tanks, 
sacred rivers, and at all other hallowed places throughout the land. He is present 
to sanction, and give efiect to, the great social festivals of his countrymen, held 
at marriages, at births of sons, and at deaths. He casts the horoscope, tells the 
lucky days, gives spiritual counsel, whispers mantras or mysterious words, exe- 
cutes magical incantations and charms, and is at once household god, family 
priest, and general preceptor and guide, in behalf of the many miUions of 
Hindus residing in the vast country lying between the Himalayas and Cape 

The second reason of the Brahman's superiority is, that for many ages, per- 
haps from the outset of his career, when with other Aryans he first entered the 
plains of India, he has been intellectually in advance of the rest of the Hindu 
race. Endowed with an extremely subtle, rather than with a powerful, mind, — 
which by long habit, perpetuated from age to age, and from family to family, 
he has trained to the utmost keenness,. — dogmatic, self-willed, pertinacious, and 
supremely arrogant and vain, he has in turn encountered and beaten the intel- 
lects of aU the other tribes, and has attained the position of a victor, with whom 
it is considered to be hopeless infatuation to contend. 

The third reason is a consequence of the second. The Brahman is not 
merely a thinking, but also a reading, man. He possesses, and perhaps reads, 
the holy canon — Yedas, Sh^tras, and Purdnas. He has been the author of 
Hindu literature ; he has interpreted its secrets to his countrymen ; he has 


sharpened his own understanding by its instrumentality, but has withheld it from 

Other reasons might easily be adduced to account for the Brahman's eleva- 
tion above all other Hindu tribes. But these are some of the most important, 
and will suffice. Light of complexion, his forehead ample, his countenance of 
striking significance, his lips thin, and mouth expressive, his eyes quick and 
sharp, his fingers long, his carriage noble and almost sublime, the true Brahman, 
uncontaminated by European influence and manners, with his intense self-con- 
sciousness, with the proud conviction of superiority depicted in every muscle of 
his face, and manifest in every movement of his body, is a wonderful specimen 
of humanity walking on God's earth. 

Yet the Brahman has lived his day. His prestige is rapidly on the decline, 
and is only maintained at its ancient pitch in remote villages and in 
the fastnesses of superstition in great cities. Here, as of old, it envelopes him 
like a glory. But the further he removes from such places, the more dim becomes 
the glory, until it fades away altogether. Education and other influences are 
treating the Brahman roughly. Yet the fault is his own. He has had a better 
start, by reason of his great natural endowments, thanany Hindu of the castes below 
him ; but he has neglected his opportunities. I fear he has been too proud, too 
self-satisfied, to avail himself of them. Some of his race, not many, have, how- 
ever, done so, and have succeeded. But in proportion to their numbers and 
importance, the Brahmans, especially the pandits, or those Brahmans who are 
regarded as men of learning, .not merely by other castes, but also by the mem- 
bers of their own, have not applied themselves to the acquisition of the knowledge 
imparted in the colleges and schools established by the English in India to an 
equal degree with some of the castes inferior to them. 

Education, in the European sense, is fast stripping the Brahman of his 
divine assumptions, and reducing him to the condition of ordinary humanity. 
But to this condition he does not wish to come. Were he, in the spirit of true 
philosophy, to submit calmly to the changes which are coming over the land, 
and endeavour to turn them to his own advantage, he might still occupy the 
highest position intellectually among all Hindu tribes, as he has done so long 
and so persistently. But his belief in Brahmanism, in the systems, and habits, 
and traditions of his ancestors prevents him from exercising a wise judgment 
in the matter. He claims, in virtue of his caste, special honour and attention. 
Should he condescend to receive or impart instruction in his own dearly cherished 
sacred literature, in the educational establishments organized by the Grovemment 


or missionaries in the country, he must be granted exceptional privileges. From 
a kindly, though perhaps injurious, consideration for his sensitiveness, such excep- 
tional privileges he, for the most part, obtains. Similarly, in other concerns, he 
likes to regard himself as needing special arrangements for meeting his special 
circumstances. And it must be confessed he is very often successful in attain- 
ing his wishes, not only with Europeans, but also with Hindus, for they both 
desire to pay him respect, for the sake of what he is, and of the brilliant asso- 
ciations connected with his tribe. Yet it is certain that he is thereby left behind 
in the great race of improvement which the Hindus have commenced. 

Sometimes — and the instances are not infrequent, and indeed in certain parts 
of the country are numerous — ^the Brahman is content to stand on a level with 
others, and casts in his lot with them. At once he proves his equality with the 
best of them, and often his superiority. He is quick in the acquisition of know- 
ledge ; he makes a sharp accountant ; he is a clever diplomatist, an acute lawyer, 
a subtle, if not profound, judge, an accomplished professor, an effective writer. 
He need never be ashamed of his abilities, or ask special favours for himself* 
He is by nature mentally strong ; and might, if he chose, be in the future the 
leader of public thought in India as he has been in the past. 

But he is not prepared for such a social revolution, and is consequently 
unconsciously giving place rapidly to others far below him in caste-rank, and who, 
in former times, were of little or no consideration at all, but who are now already 
tripping him up and passing on to the front. The Eayasth, or writer caste, and 
the Vaisya, or trading caste, are seizing the golden opportunities that education, 
civilization, and a thousand favourable circumstances are, in these days, placing 
within the reach of the natives of India, and are striving with conspicuous suc- 
cess to make the best use of them. It is not too much to affirm, that in regard to 
the part they are taking in the development and growth of the nation, and in 
promoting its prosperity, they are even at the present time of more account than 
the Brahmans, blindly treading the old well-worn tracks, which, from the infatua- 
tion of obstinacy and folly, they seem unwilling and unable to abandon. 




( \ 



SecHan I. — Oenealogy of the Brahmanical Tribes. 

The Brahmans of all tribes, according to Hindu writings and traditions, are 
originally descended from seven Rishis, or sages, held by Hindus universally in 
profound veneration as semi-deities of great sanctity and wisdom. These, as 
given by the Nimai Sindhu, and also by the Dharmd. Sindhu, are as follows : — 

1. Bhrigu. 

2. Angii^h. 

3. Atrl. 

4. yiswd.mitra. 

5. Kasyap. 

6. YashishL 

7. Agastih. 

Each of these Rishis stands at the head of a great division, the various 
members of which are further sub-divided into sections, termed gotras or classes. 
These gotras are found more or less in all the twelve tribes. Many, but not all, 
of the original gotras are as follows : — 

Gotras descended from Bhrigu RUhi. 















Gotras descended from Angirdh Biski, 

1. Gautam. 

2. Bharaddw&j. 

8. Kewal Anguraa. 

Gotras descended from Atri Rishi, 

1. Atre. 

2. B&dbhotak. 
8. Garishthtra. 
4, Mudbgala, 



Goiras descended from Viswdmitra RishL 

1. Kanshika. 

2. Lohit. 

3. Raukhshak. 

4. Kfimk&jana. 

5. Aja. 

6. Elatab. 

7. DhanaDJja. 

8. Agamarkhan. 

9. Piiran. 

10. Indrakaushika. 

Gotras descended from Kasyap Rishu 

1. Nidruba. 

2. Kasyap. 

3. Sandila. 

4. Bebha. 

5. Langakhshi. 

Gotras descended from Vashisht Rishi. 

1. Yashifibt. 

2. Kundiiu 

3. Upamanju. 

4. Par^bara. 

5. J&tukaraniya. 

Gotras descended from AgcLstih Rishu 

1. Idbamababar. 

2. Somabahar. 

3. Sambhababar. 

4. Yagjab&har. 

From these seven gotras^ other gotrcis have been derived, which are now 
looked upon as of superior degree, and equal to them in rank. For instance, 
each of the three gotras^ descended from Angir&h Rishi, stands at the head of a 
famUy of gotras^ as follows : — 

Gotras descended from Bharaddwdj. 

1. Bharaddw&ji. 

2. Garg. 

3. Bikhsba. 

4. Eapili. 

Gotras descended from Kewal Anffiras, 

1. Harita. 

2. N&maDgiras. 

3. Ambarikba. 

4. Dbauwana. 

The original gotras, with many others that have sprung from them, are 
found more or less in all the Brahmanical tribes. When, and how, they became 
scattered, is, for the most part, unknown. Tet, as the Brahmans have been 
exceedingly careful in the preservation of the purity of their blood, it is, I conceive, 
extremely probable, that the same gotras, in different tribes and branches of 
tribes, have a common ancestral gotra from which they are descended. But 
they have become distinct races, which, if belonging: to separate tribes, do not 

...w Ind^d, the meml^n of thfime «x>L, .f tk. «me tribe, 

Gotras descended from Gautam. 












Benu Pali. 


B&bii Oana. 




Bama Deo. 





cannot how intermarry ; and marriages among Brahmins are always b etween 
differentgoiraSy which, however, must belong to the same tribe. Were a man 
anHwoman of the same gotra to marry, their union would be regarded as con- 
cubinage, and not marriage ; and their children would be considered illegitimate. 
Moreover, both they and their children would be unable to present the pinda 
or sacred offering to their ancestors, which every sincere Hindu esteems it his 
duty and privilege to make ; and if they ventured to present it, the offering, in 
Hindu belief, would be rejected. 

Section IL — Classification of the Ootras or Orders according to their 

Observance of the Vedic Rituals. 

In their ceremonies the Brahmans follow the rituals or instructions of one 
or other of the four Vedas. Five of the principal gotras observe the S&m Veda ; 
five others, the Rig Veda; five others, the Yajur Veda; and five, the Atharvan 
Veda, as follows : — 







. Follow the Sam Veda. 




Garg (or Chandra) 



Follow the Big Veda. 












► Follow the Yajur Yeda. 


Follow the Atharvan Yeda. 

The rest of the Brahmans, of all gotras^ follow the Yajur Veda. 

Section III. — Honorary Titles ; Divisions into Clans ; Six Special Duties. 

While there is no manner of doubt that the Brahmans were originally more 
closely united than they are at present, and probably consisted of only one tribe, 
there is no historical record among Hindus of the periods and circumstances of 
their development into ten tribes. Their traditions, however, may be regarded 
as tolerably safe guides on such matters. These all agree in pointing to a 
period when the Brahmans were one people. Moreover, in the age of Manu, 

^.. '". 

f. f 

^. ' /'' 


/ * 

. . <* 




as is manifest from his Institutes, they were as yet imdivided. He gives no in- 
timation of separate tribes existing among them. The division into ten is, 
I suspect, comparatively modem. 

Great and important distinctions subsist between the various tribes of 
Brahmans. Some are given to learning ; some to agriculture ; some to poli- 
tics ; some to trade. The Mahratta Brahman is a very different being from the 
Bengali, while the Eanoujiya differs from both. I am only imperfectly acquaint- 
ed with this branch of the subject. Mr. Campbell's recent work on the Eth- 
nology of India might have contained more information upon it. In his 
remarks on the Brahmans he loses sight of their great tribal distinctions. 

Besides the divisions of Brahmans in to taibes and gotras, they are still ftir- 
ther classified according to certain honorary designationsor tiHes. For instance, 
a Dube, or Do- Veda, is a descendant of one who prefessed to have read two 
Vedas ; a Tiwfiri, corrupted from Trivedi, of one who had read three Vedas ; a 
Chaube, of one who had read all four Vedas. Dikshit (initiated), Misr (pro- 
bably from Misra, mixed), Pfiade, Shukul, Awasthi, Upadhya, Bfijpei, P&takh, are, 
with those first mentioned, some of the more prominent of such titles. 

After this comes the name of the clan, or family, which is frequently derived 
from a village or district. The clan will have perhaps two or more branches, 
each of which has its own appellation. In addition, as every Brahman wears the 
sacred cord, he is further designated according to the number of knots tied at 
the ends. He may be Triprawa, P&nchprawa, or S&tprawa, a Brahman with a 
three-knotted, five-knotted, or seven-knotted cord, and so on. A Brahman, 
therefore, would be frdly described somewhat as follows : His name, say, is 
Sambhu Nllrd.yana ; and he is a Triprawa Brahman of the Apastambh branch of 
the Dharmp^i^ clan, of the Misr rank, of the Kausik gotra, of the Sarjupdii 
division, of the Mnkubja tribe of Gaur Brahmans! ' 

\ ' 

^ I 

A Brahman has to perform six kinds of duties, as follows : — 

1. To study the Vedas. 

2. To teach the Vedas. 

3. To offer sacrifices. 

4. To cause others to sacrifice, — ^that is, to perform the offices of a 


5. To receive alms. 

6. To give alms. 


Only those Brahmans that perform all these six daties are reckoned perfectly 
orthodox. Some perform three of them, — namely, the first, third, and fifth, — and 
omit the other three ; yet they sufier in rank in consequence. Hence, Brahmans 
are divided into two kinds, the Shat-karmas and the Tri-karmas, or those who 
perform the six duties and those who perform the three only. The BhMnh&r 
Brahmans, for instance, are Tri-karmas, and merely pay heed to three duties. 
Their position as Brahmans, however, is well known to be depreciated thereby. 
This subject, in regard to the Bhiiinh&rs, will be alluded to again. 

Section IV. — Religious Ceremonies of the Brahmans. 

The customs and ceremonies of the Brahmans, at certain periods of life, and 
on special occasions, are very peculiar, difiering in many respects from those 
observed by other castes. They are divided into a nmnber of sanskdrs^ or 
karamas^ — i. c, ceremonies. 

First Karam. — Garbh&dh&n. This is performed when a Brahmani, or wife 
of a Brahman, indulges the hope of offspring. The Brahman and his wife 
worship Granesh, the god of wisdom; the Nakshatras, or twenty -seven divi- 
sions of the zodiac, under one or other of which every child is supposed to be 
born ; the twenty-eight Yogas, and other deities. It has eight divisions as fol- 
lows : 

1. Puny&h-v&chan. A Brahman comes and sprinkles water over husband 
and wife, and repeats a mantra^ or charm. 

2. Mlltrikll-piijan. They both perform puja^ or worship certain idols, and 
also make a rude figure called mdtrika^ representing a woman, on walls and other 


3. Basardh&r&. They draw eight lines with clarified butter on walls ; and 

al^o perform pujd. 

4. Nfi-ndi-shr&ddh. They worship their ancestors; place Kusha grass in 
four different places ; and feed Brahmans. 

5. They perform the burnt sacrifice of the Hom. 

6. A silver plantain is presented as a ddn^ or gift, to Brahmans. 

7. Godbh&ran. The things which have been presented in sacrifice are 
placed in the lap of the woman. 

8. A feast is given to Brahmans. 

Second Karam. — ^Punsawan. This consists of ceremonies performed in the 
fourth month, which are the first five, or PunyHb-v&chan, M&trikH-pAjan, Basar- 


dhkrkj Nft.ndi-shr£Uldh, and the Horn, noticed above. In addition, the juice of the 
Soma plant is mixed with the jat&, or hanging-roots, of the Bar tree, ground to 
a powder, and applied to the woman's nose. The hair of the woman is bound 
up in the fashion called beuri; and the name of the neighbouring river is 

Third Karam. — Simanto-N&yana. Performed in the seventh or eight month. 
The first five ceremonies of the first karam are observed. Taking the twin- 
fruit of the Bar tree (or two individual fruits united together), three stalks of 
Kusha grass, and a porcupine's quill, they part the woman's hair at the proper 
place of division, or mang^ and while mantras are being recited, and women are 
singing, a vessel full of water is placed on her thigh. 

Fourth Karam. — J&tkaram. This takes place at the birth of the child. 
The five ceremonies are performed. Clarified butter and honey are given to the 
infant, being first poured into a silver vessel through a golden ring ; and charms 
are breathed into its ear, to preserve it from evil spirits, and from the innu- 
merable ills to which this flesh is heir. Five Brahmans are summoned to read 
mantras on five sides of the house. The spot is sanctified by mantras ; and 
mantras sanctify the infant, over whom the Brahmans say Ashm&-bhatw&. Fire 
is placed before the door, and the Hom sacrifice is burnt together with yellow 
mustard and rice. During the first six days, the mother is attended by a cha- 
main, or wife of a chamd.r, and only eats food called chau&ni, made of sugar, 
clarified butter, and spices. After the sixth day, she begins to partake of cooked 
food. For twelve days, singing and music are more or less kept up at the 
house, and friends come and go, offering their congratulations, and bringing with 
them nicely prepared pawn ; but during this period, however, the mother is per- 
mitted to touch no one. On the twelfth day, friends bring various kinds of 
presents, and the woman having bathed, the restriction as to touching is removed. 
If a boy is bom in the nineteenth Nakshatra called mAl^ the woman is not clean 
till the twenty-seventh day, and is consequently unable, during the interval, to 
touch any one. The process by which the father, in such case, is suffered to see 
his child for the first time is very curious. On this day melted clarified butter 
is brought in a brass vessel, and the child being placed upon his shoulder in such 
manner as to cast a reflection of itself upon the butter, the father looks in and 
beholds the reflected image. After this the child is placed in a barma-sup, or 
winnowing basket, and is brought outside of the house as far as the eaves. The 
woman then worships the goddess Bhaw&ni, by offering chau&ni placed on seven 
cakes. This custom prevails in all the castes. There is a certain condition of 


this Nakshatra, happily rare, on the occurrence of which, should a child be hontj 
its father is prohibited from beholding it for the space of twelve years. 

Fi/ih Karam. — ^ This is the ceremony of naming the child, 
which is performed twelve days after its birth. The five special ceremonies, 
already repeatedly referred to, are practised, and the name is given. 

Sixth Karam. — Nishkarman. Performed when the child is four months old. 
The five ceremonies are observed. Ganesh is worshipped, and the infant is 
brought out to behold the sun and moon. 

Seventh Karam. — Anapr&shanna. Performed in the case of a girl, five 
months after birth ; and in the case of a boy, six months. After worshipping 
fire on a lucky day, the child is made, for the first time, to eat the various kinds 
of food eaten by Hindus. 

Janang&nth. This ceremony is performed when the child is one year old, 
when the parents worship Ashtachiranjana, — ^that is, eight deities. These are 
Ashwatham^ Raja Bali, Veda Vy^, Hanum&n, Bibhishan, Krip&chd^rya, Parasrd,m, 
M&rdandi and Chhasti (goddesses). The reflected face of the child is exhibited 
in melted butter. 

Eighth Karam. — Chiir&karan. Performed when the child is between one and 
three years of age. Turning the child with its face to the east, kasha grass is plac- 
ed in the hair, which is anointed with cow-dung. Having done this three times 
successively, mantras or charms are then said, and the boy's hair is cut, or rather 
shaved, with a razor. 

Earanbeda. When the child is between three and five years of age, its 
two ears are. pierced. The worship of Ganesh forms part of the ceremony. 

Ninth Karam. — TJpnayana. This is the important ceremony connected 
with the initiation of the child, between his fifth and eighth year, into the 
mysteries of Brahmanism, by decorating him with the Janeo, or sacred thread. 
The first four rites of the second Karam, — namely, Puny&h-v&chan, M&trikd.-pi!ijan, 
Basardhd;r&, and N&ndi-shrdddh, — having been observed, the child and its father 
both make atonement for any sins which they may have committed, which partly 
consists of bestowing presents of money and other things to Brahmans. They 
then give haran^ or money and nuts, to ten Brahmans for repeating gayatris^ or 
sacred texts, a thousand times. Thereupon, the boy's head is shaved ; after which 
eight boys and the child's mother eat food together, and ten Brahmans are 
presented with money, nuts, and sacred threads* The boy is now covered with 
a veil, called Antrapat, while Sanskrit sentences are read, and fire is placed upon 
an altar* The child's head is then adorned with a mdld^ or wreath, and he is 


made to sit on the altar. The Eardhani, or rope of muj, a kind of grass, is bound 
round his waist three times, and as many knots are tied in it as correspond to 
the number of years of his life- The langauti^ or long cloth worn by Brahmans 
and by other Hindus, is placed upon him, and a deerskin, called KHshnd-jln^ 
is wrapt about his shoulders, and a rod torn from the Pal&s tree is put in his hand. 
While charms are being uttered the sacred cord is thrown over his shoulder, and 
the gayatri^ or sacred text, is breathed into his ear together with Madhy&n San- 
dhia. The sacrifice of the Hom is performed, and the young disciple is taught certain 
duties, some of which are the following, — not to sleep on a bed, not to tell a lie, 
to purify himself with water, not to play with boys, to beg alms, and so forth. 
Finally, the parents give dakshina^ or presents, to the Brahmans, and the cere- 
mony terminates. 

Tenths Eleventh^ Tvoeljih^ and Thirteenth Karmcts. — These four ceremonies 
are the reading of the Vedas by the young Brahman. The first consists of the 
general study of the four Vedas ; the second, of the Rig Veda ; the third, of 
the Yajur Veda ; and the fourth, of the S&m Veda. 

Fourteenth Karam. — Samd^bartan. The young Brahman having been occu- 
pied for some time in reading with his teacher asks his permission to visit his 

Fifieenth Karam. — Gaudam. A ceremony at which cows are given to 

B&gdd,n- A ceremony preceding marriage. The father of a Brahmani 
girl visits the youth and proposes his daughter to him in marriage, and, at the 
same time, makes various presents to him. 

Sixteenth Karam. — Bykh. The ceremony of marriage, which has fourteen 
divisions and gradations, as follows : 

1. B^d^n. The bride's father proceeds to the house of the bridegroom, 
and after worshipping him and making presents of money, cloth, and other things, 
utters these words, ^ I will give my daughter to thee.' In some cases the bridegroom 
himself goes to the house of the bride. 

2. Simantini-piijan. The bridegroom, accompanied by all the members 
of his family, goes to the bride's house ; whereupon both bride and bridegroom 
are worshipped ; first the bride's party worships the bridegroom, and then the 
bridegroom's party worships the bride. 

3. Hardi-uth&nll. Hard! or haldi, a yellow pigment, and oil, having been 
sent from the bride's house to the bridegroom, are rubbed upon his body : he 
then bathes : after which the ceremonies of Ganesh-piijan (worship of Ganesh), 



Puny&h-y&chan, M&trik&-piijan, Basardh&r&-piijan, and Ndndi-shrdddh, before 
mentioned, are performed. 

4. Bard^t. Marriage procession. The bridegroom and his friends go in 
state to the house of the bride. 

5. Madhu-parakh. Kusha grass being placed on a wooden seat the bride- 
groom is made to sit upon it. Thereupon, honey, curds, and sweetmeats are 
given him to eat, and various presents are placed before him. 

6. Agntsth&pan. Fire is placed upon an altar, and mantras^ or sacred 
texts, are recited. 

7. Antrapat. A veil is put over the bride and bridegroom, and Sanskrit 
verses are read. 

8. Kanyad&n. The names of three deceased ancestors having been utter- 
ed the bride's father gives his daughter, together with presents of money and 
other things, to the bridegroom. 

9. Hom. Fire is placed on the altar, and Idwd^ a kind of parched grain, 
is presented by the bridegroom's brother to both bride and bridegroom, and a 
portion is thrown upon the altar. 

10. Sapt-padi. The bride and bridegroom having first placed their feet 
on the Idwd on the altar, walk together round the Marwd^ or place where the rite 
is performed. 

11. Sendhflrdhamd,. The bridegroom having put sendhur, a red pigment, 
into the parting of the bride's hair, five married women, called sohdgins^ step 
forward and perform the same operation. 

12. Gaudam. Money equal to the price of a cow is given to the family 
priest, or purohit. 

13. Br&hman-bhojan. Brahmans are fed, and money is given to them. 

14. Badhu-pravesh. The bridegroom is placed for four days in the house of 
the bride, after which she is taken home to his house, and the . goddess Lakshmi 
is worshipped. 

In addition to the sixteen karniM now noticed, there are also elaborate 
ceremonies performed on the death of a Brahman, forming, in the estimation of 
some persons, a seventeenth karam. These ceremonies are as follows : — 

Ceremonies performed on the death of a Brahman. 

1. Kshhour. The head of the man who takes the principal part in these 
ceremonies is shaved. 


2. Utkr&nt Srd^dh. Offerings called pinda (a) are made in the name of 
the deceased. 

3. Uth&pan. The body is placed upon a bier in order to be borne upon 
men's shoulders to the bank of a stream — in Benares, to the Ganges — for 

4. Shay&lank&r. The body is wrapped in cloth. 

5. Bisr&m Sr^dh. While being carried to the place of burning, the 
bearers put the body down in the road, and take rest ; a pinda is then offered 
in the name of the deceased. 

6. Dahan-Sr&ddh. On arriving at the place where the body is to be burnt, 
a pinda is again offered. 

7. Chit&-rachn&. The wood is placed in proper order for burning the body. 

8. Agni-sth&pan. An altar is erected, on which, while sacred texts are 
Repeated, fire is put. 

9. The body is then placed on the wood, clarified butter or a piece of gold 
is put into its mouth, and wood is heaped upon it all round. When these pre- 
parations have been concluded, the man whose duty it is to fire the pile first 
walks round it three times, beginning from the left side. He then applies the 
torch to the wood, in the direction of the head, if the deceased be a male, and in 
that of the feet, if a female. All present must remain until the head has burst 
open, when the person officiating fills a pitcher with water and walks three 
times round the fire, on each occasion making a small hole in the vessel with 
a stone, which being completed, he places the stone upon the ground, and walking 
backwards lets fall the pitcher upon it. This is called kap&l-kriy&. He then 
takes up the stones, which he makes use of again in another ceremony. 

10. Asthisanochain-sr&ddh. A pinda is offered in the name of the deceased. 

11. Nagna-prachh&dan-srd;ddh. A pinda also is offered, because the body 
remains naked while being consumed. 

12. F&thai. A pinda is given likewise, in order that the soul of the deceas- 
ed may go to its place of rest. 

13. Kravyd.d-mukh-sr&ddh. A pinda is presented in the name of the fire. 

14. The stone which has been retained is then smeared with cow-dung 
mixed with sacred ashes and auld^ a fruit ; after which a handful of water, together 
with HI (b) seed, is thrown upon the stone. 

(a) Tbe pinda is made of cooked rice worked up into a ball with clarified batter, honej, sugar, and HI seed. 

(b) The Ul is a small seed from which oil is expressed. 


15. Masb&n-Mshi-sr&ddh. A pinda is offered for the proprietor of the 
ground on which the cremation has taken place, that he may not be injured by the 
spirit of the departed. 

16. Bali-pinda-sr&ddh. Three pindas are ofiered in behalf of the deceased ; 
a handful of water with til is cast on the chitd. or burning pile ; and the pile is 
thrown down by abundance of water being poured upon it. 

All who have taken part in the ceremony of burning are unclean for ten 
days, during which time they may not touch any one. 

17. For ten days pindas are offered, one on each of the even days, and two 
on the odd days. 

On the tenth day all shave their heads, and become again ceremonially 

18. Brikhosarg. A bull receives the mark of Siva upon its rump, and is 
offered in the name of the deceased. 

19. Adya-srSddh. A pinda is offered on the eleventh day. 

20. Khorsi. This pinda is also offered on the same day. 

21. Ashya or bed, a horse, a cow, and other things are given to the Mah&- 
brahman, or priest who has officiated in some of these ceremonies. 

22. Sapindi. A pinda is offered on the twelfth day. 

23. Sudh'Sr&ddh. A pinda is offered on the thirteenth day. The spirit 
of the deceased is supposed to have hovered about the spot, where the body was 
burnt, for twelve days ; but on the thirteenth takes its departure to another 
sphere. Brahmans are fed, and all the ceremonies are at an end. 

The above ceremonies are not merely performed on the death of a Brahman, 
but are also, for the most part, observed on the death of any other Hindu. 

Section V. — The Nakshatras. 

The Nakshatras are regarded by Hindu astrologers as heavenly bodies 
which have great influence on mankind, not only at the time of their birth, but 
during the whole course of their life on earth. They are also said to constitute 
the twelve signs of the zodiac, two and-a-quarter Nakshatras forming one sign. 
Again, they are spoken of as quasi-deities, whose favour needs to be propitiated, and 
whose frown is fatal to health and life. There is no question that the Nakshatras 
are a source of infinite terror to Hindus of all castes, and of vast emolument 
to the Brahmans. They are consulted at births and marriages, and in all times 
of difficulty, of sickness, and of anxiety. Journies are commenced under their 


direction; and according to their decision, days and events become lucky or unlucky. 
The consultation of the Nakshatras is a part of the Hindu's life, and is as import- 
ant in his eyes as the institution of caste or the worship of the gods. 

The Nakshatras are twenty-seven in number. In the following list it will 
be observed that the word ^shdnti^ is affixed to several names. It means ^rest,' 
or * quiet,' and shows that the ill-natured deity, to whom it refers, requires a 
ceremony of pacification to be performed in the event of a child being born at 
the time of her appearance in the heavens, in order that calamities and dangers 
which she threatens to send upon the child, or its parents, or other relatives, or on 
its friends, or on its caste, may be averted. Wherever the word * shdnti ' is 
added, the particular danger, and the object of it, are likewise stated. 

The Twenty-seven Nakshatras. 

1. Ashwani — Shanti. Daoger is threatened to the parents of the child. 

2. Bharani. 

3. Kritikl 

4. Rohini. 

5. MrigHshira. 

6. Argri. 

7. Punarvasii. 

8. Pushja — Sh&nti. Danger is threatened to parents and other relatives. 

9. Ashless or Ashya-lekh& — Sh&nti. Out of sixty hours, during which she is dominant, only 
the last four are fraught with danger. If a child be born in the last of these, evil may happen to 
its father ; if in the third, to its mother ; if in the second, to itself; and if in the first, to its parents, 
to its brother, to its caste, and to wealth, if it has any. 

10. Magh& — Shanti. Danger is threatened to parents and other relatives. 

1 1 . Furvaphalguni. 

12. UttaraphaJguni. 

13. Hasta. 

14. Chitra — Shanti. Danger is threatened to parents, and to the men of the same gotra or 
branch of families. 

15. Sw&ti. 

16. Yishaka — Shanti. Danger is threatened to the younger child of the father's brother, if a 
daughter; and if a son, the danger will pass to the younger sister of his wife. 

17. Anur&dh&. 

IS. Jieshtha — Shanti. The sixty hours of its dominance 'are dangerous, as follows : the first 
six, to the maternal grandmother of the child ; the second six, to its mother's father ; the third six, to 
its mother's brother ; the fourth six, to its mother ; the fifth six, to the child itself; the sixth six, to all 
the members of the same gotra; the seventh six, to its own family; the eighth six, to its brother; 
the ninth six, to its father-in-hiw ; the tenth six, to all its relatives. * 




19. M^ — ShantL If a child is bom during the first fiflty-Bix hours of her dominancey danger 
impends over the entire family ; if in the fifty-seventh, danger threatens the fiither only ; if in the 
fifty-eighth, the mother only ; if in the fifty-ninth, itself. The last hour, or the sixtietb, is devoid of 
danger, but, nevertheless, requires Shanti, 

20. Purvasharft. 

21. Uttarash&nL 

22. Sravan. 

23. Dhanishta— Sh&nti. Danger is threatened both to its fiither and itself. 

24. Shatat&raka. 

25. Purv&bhadrapad&. 

26. Uttarabh&dr&pada. 

27. Bevati — Sh&nti. Danger is threatened both to its parents and itself. 

^"^l. 7 



The Brahmans of India are classed under two great divisions, named Gaur 
and Drttvira, each of which consists of five tribes. These are mostly separated 
by geographical boundaries. Speaking somewhat generally, the Gaur tribes are 
found in Northern India, and the Dr&vira tribes in the Deccan or Southern India. 
The river Nirbuddha in Central India is commonly regarded as a rough geogra- 
phical line of demarcation between the Gaurs and DrS.viras. Yet there is 
an important distinction between them which ought to be always borne in 
mind, that the former are of greater antiquity than the latter, the Southern 
Brahmans having in fact originally migrated from the tribes in the North. In 
addition to the ten well-known principal tribes, there are several supplementary 
tribes, which, although not usually reckoned amongst them, are doubtless of 
Brahmanical origin. 

Divisions of Brahmans. 

The OauTy or Nqrthem Division^ consisting of Five Tribes. 

I. K&nyakubja or Eanoujiya. 

II. S&raswat. 

III. Gaur^ 

IV. Maithila. 
V. Utkala. 

The Drdmra^ or Southern Division^ consisting of Five Tribes. 

I. Mah&rftshtra. 

II. Tailanga. 

m. IMvira. 

IV. Kam&ta. 

V. Gurjar. 

/ ^' 




Supplementary Tribes. 

L MUthur, or Mathur^ ke Chaube. 

II. M&gadh, or SS^Mdwipi. 

III. The MSlw& Brahmans. 

lY. The Kunnftchali Brahmans. 

V. The Naip&li Brahmans. 

VI. The Kashmiri Brahmans. 

VII. The Sapt-Shati Brahmans. 

VIII. The Shenevi Brahmans. 

IX. The Falashe Brahmans. 

X. The Sengardaro Brahmans. 

XI. The Sank&h&r Brahmans. 

XII. The Thatiya Brahmans. 

XIII. The Ahw&si or Haiw&si Tribe. 

XIV. The Byfis Tribe. 
XV. The Bilw&r Tribe. 

XVI. The Lrikhishwar Tribe. 

XVII. The Agftchi Brahmans. 

XVIII. The Bdgariy& or Parchuniyft Brahmans. 

XIX. The Unw&riyS, Brahmans. 

XX. The Gol&purab Brahmans. 

XXI. The Lyfiriyft Tribe. 

XXII. The NMe Tribe. 

XXIII. The MyHle Brahmans. 

XXIV. The DasMwipi Tribe. 
XXV. The DehrA-ddn Brahmans. 

The ES^nyakubja Brahmans belong to the old Kingdom of Kanouj, and are 
found dispersed over a large portion of the North- Western Provinces, as far as 
Benares, where they are very numerous, especially that branch of them known as 
Sarwaria or Sarjup&ri, which is scattered over the country from the northern 
bank of the Sarju, on the confines of Oudh, its original home, to Benares, and 
beyond. The S&raswat Brahmans are in the north-west of India; the 
Gaurs are found in the vicinity of Delhi, and in Bengal ; the Maithilas inhabit 
the northern part of Behar; and the Utkalas have their home in Qrissa. The 
five Dr&vira tribes may be separated, like the five Graurs, by geographical 
boundaries. The MahHrHshtras belong to the Mahratta country ; , the Tailangas, 


to Telingfi^nd. ; the Drftviras, to the Tanul-speaking districts ; the Karnfetas, to 
the Camatic; and the Gurjars, to Gujerat. Of the subordinate or supplement- 
ary tribes, the M&thurs are found in the city of Mathura and its neighbourhood; 
the S&k&dwipis, in the old Magadh country ; the M&lw& Brahmans, in M&lw& ; 
the Kurm&chalis, in Kumaon ; the Naip&lis, in Nepal ; the Mshmiris, in Cash- 
mere; the Sapt-Shati Brahmans, in Bengal; the Shenevi Brahmans, in the 
Mahratta country ; the Palashe Brahmans in Southern India. The remainder 
are found in various places, chiefly in Northern India, and are of little weight or 
importance. I am not aware that any of them have representatives in Benares ; 
which circumstance is sufficient to prove their insignificance. They are given here 
in order that the list may be as complete as possible. Probably most of them are 
Brahmans who have degraded from the original stock. 

It is important to observe, as a distinguishing caste-characteristic of all 
these tribes, that, although some of them may partake of cooked food together, 
yet they do not intermarry. The five Gtiur tribes are entirely distinct from one 
another, both in regard to marriage and eating food ; and are likewise, in these 
respects, distinct from the five tribes of Southern Brahmans. Yet the five 
Dr&viras are not quite so exclusive in their relations to one another. None of 
them intermarry ; nevertheless, four out of the five can eat together. These are 
the Mah&r&shtra, the Tailanga, the Dr&vira, and the Kam&ta. None of them, 
however eats with the Gurjar tribe, owing to certain peculiarities in this tribe not 
found in the rest. The supplementary tribes keep themselves aloof from one 
another and from all other tribes. 

Some of the great seats of Hinduism and Brahmanical learning, Benares 
especially, are always more or less frequented by representatives from these 
tribes. It is not my intention, however, to attempt to frimish a complete detailed 
account of all of them. Having undertaken to give, as far as possible, a full 
statement respecting the castes of Benares, I shall consider that my obligation 
in regard to the Brahmanical castes will be fulfilled by a description of the great 
E&nyakubja tribe indigenous to the Benares city and province. Information 
concerning the remaining tribes, I shall supply, so far as I am able, and as inquiry 
may bear fruit. 


The Gaur Brahmans, as already stated, embrace the five great indigenous 
tribes found in Northern India, from Orissa and Eastern Bengal through Behar, 
the North- West Provinces, Oudh, Rohilkhand, to the extreme west of the 
Panjab, and extending southwards as far as the Nirbuddha in Central India. 
The word 'Gaur' properly applies to Bengal, especially the central portion. How 
it has come to pass that the term is employed as a designation of the entire 
race of Northern Brahmans, is difficult thoroughly to understand. While it 
has this general use, it is also of limited application, and is the appellation of one 
of the five tribes. Whether the general use arose from the particular, or 
the particular from the general, is by no means clear. History and tradition 
afibrd no satisfactory solution. The local Gaurs are found in two places 
separated by a wide interval, — namely, the vicinity of Delhi, and Bengal. 
Common tradition points to Bengal as their original seat ; but as we know that 
the eastern part of the country was occupied by the Brahmans at a period 
subsequently to their immigration into the western provinces, this is manifestly 
erroneous. As Hariana, Hastinltpiir, and the neighbouring country formed one 
of the earliest seat of the Brahmans in India, it is not improbable that the 
modem Gaurs of that quarter, together with those in Bengal and elsewhere, 
who have branched off from them, are their lineal descendants. The anti- 
quity of these primitive Gaurs, combined with their wandering character, may 
have gradually given rise to the custom of designating the Brahmans generally 
over a wide extent of country as Gaurs, and so may have been adopted as a 
term applicable to all the tribes within its bounds. But the subject is involved 
in mystery and uncertainty. It will be further discussed in the section on the 
Gaur Brahmans Proper. 



This tribe of Gaur Brahmans occupies the extensive tract of country lying 


between Behar and the western part of the Doab. It consists of five great 
diyisions, as follows : — 

Divisions of the Kanoujiya Tribe. 

!• Kanoujiya Proper. 

n. Sarjupfiria or Sarwaria. 

III. Jijhotiya. 

IV. Sanadhiya. 

y. Kanoujiya Brahmans of Bengal. 

The last division has four branches : — 

1. V&rendra. 3. Pashch&tiya. 

2. R^hiya. 4. Dakshin&tiya Yaidik. 

The Brahmans of the first division inhabit the country of the old kingdom 
of Kanouj, and are also found more or less in other parts of the North- Western 
Provinces, between the limits abeady stated. They are the Kanoujiya Brahmans 
Proper. , The other divisions have sprang from them, and, in some places, exist 
side by side with them. In Benares and its neighbourhood, the Kanoujiyas 
Proper are numerous; but the Saijupd.ris are more so. The Bhtilnh&rs, of 
whom many, though not all, belong to the SarjupS.ria division, are a large and 
influential body in all that province. Of the four divisions, the Kanoujiyas 
Proper are highest in rank. Being more scrupulous in regard to ceremonial 
observances than the other three, they occupy in relation to them the position 
of Kulin Brahmans, — ^that is, Brahmans of a purer race. They also keep them- 
selves, on this account, somewhat distinct from them, especially in the matter of 
marriage; for while they permit their sons to contract alliances with their 
daughters, they do not suffer their daughters to wed their sons. They do not 
drink spirits, yet they will eat meat offered in sacrifice. But they will eat 
nothing made of flour by a Halwai, or Hindu confectioner, which, however, the 
SarjupS^ri Brahmans will do. Nor will they eat puris^ — sweet cakes made with 
gh% or clarified butter, — manufactured by a stranger not of their own caste ; but 
the SarjupS^ris have no scruple on this point likewise. 


Section I. — The Kanoujiya Brahmans Proper. 

The particular boundaries of this family are the Districts of Sh&hjehdnpih-, 
and a portion of Pilibhit, to the north-west; the Districts of K&nptlr, and 


part of Fathpiir, to the north; the District of Banda, to the west; of Hamir- 
p^, to the south ; and part of Etawah, to the south-west The Eanoujiyas, 
says Mr. W, C. Plowden, in the Greneral Report of the Census of the North- 
West Provinces, for the year 1865, Vol. I, p. 81, "are not found in any number 
above Etawah ; in fact, in the Meerut Division they are not known, and in Rohil- 
khand they number little more than one thousand; a small colony of nine 
hundred and ninety-eight existing in MorMabdrd, and sixteen persons of the same 
sub-division being recorded as residents of Bijnour." 

The Kanoujiyas Proper have professedly six branches, or gotras^ which are 
called EJiatkul, or six families ; but in reality they reckon six and-a-half, which 
are practically seven. They are the following : 

Ootras of the Kanoujiya Brahmans Proper. 

Grautam. KS^syap. 

S&ndil. E&shtip. 

Bh&raddw&j. Garg. 

Each of these Ootras is a class by itself, comprising one or more families 
or clans designated by certain honorary titles, as Misr, Shukul, and so forth. 

Chms of ike Oauktm OotrOy bearing the title of Awasthtl 

First Clan, First Branch ... ... ... ... M&dhii. 

„ Second ditto ... ... ... ... Parbh&kar. 

,y Third ditto ... ... ... ... Dey4kar. 

,, Fourth ditto ... ... ... ... Chandr4kar. 

Second Clan ... ... ... ... ... Khenchar. 

Third ditto ... ... ••• -•• ••• Belaurd. 

Fourth ditto ... ... ••• ••. ... Mawaija. 

Fiflth ditto ••• ••• ••• ••• . ••• Bare. 

' Clans of the Sandil Ootra, hearing the titie of Misr.. 

First Clan ... ••• ••• ••. ... Ankin. 

Second dittOy First Branch ... ... ... Baije 64nw. 

„ Second ditto... ..• •.. ... M&nj Gr&nw. 

„ Third ditto ... ... ... ... Sothiaun. 

„ Fourth ditto ••• ... ••• ... Badarka. 

Third Clan ... ... ... ... ... Gopinathi. 

Fourth ditto ... ... ... ... ... Parsukh. 

Fifth ditto ... ••• ... ... ... Durgftpib". 



CloM of the Sdndil Ootra, bearing the title of JXkshiL 


First Clan, First Branch ... 
Second ditto ... 
Third ditto 
Second Clan, First Branch 

„ Second ditto ... 

Third Clan 

... Anter. 

... Hans R4m ke Asamt. 

... Jageshwar ke As&mt. 

... Parasari. 

... Bhainsai. 

... 6&rumau. 

Clans of the Bhdraddwaj Ooira, bearing the title of ShukuL 

First Clan, First Branch .. 

„ Second ditto .. 

Second Clan, First Branch .. 

„ Second ditto .. 

Third Clan 
Fourth ditto, First Branch.. 

„ Second ditto .. 

Fifth Clan, First Branch .. 

„ Second ditto .. 

Sixth Clan 
Seventh ditto 

(This is properly the principal Clan, from which the others are said to have been derived. For some 
unexplained reason, it is now the seventh on the list.) 







Durg& D&s. 






Eighth Clan 
Ninth ditto 

... Bigahp&r. 
... Giidarp^. 

Clane of the Bharaddwdj Ootra, bearing (he title of Trivedi. 

First Clan, First Branch 
„ Second ditto 

„ Third ditto 

Second Chm 


First Clan 
Second ditto 
Third ditto 
Fourth ditto 
Fifth ditto 
Sixth ditto 


Clone of the Bhdraddwaj QotrOy bearing the tide of Pdnde. 

... Gegason. 

••• Khor. 

••• Amr&. 

... NagwL 

... Kush&. 

... Pachw&r. 




Clans of the Upmdn GoirOy bearing the title of Pdihahh. 

First Clan 
Second ditto 
Third ditto 
Fourth ditto 

First Clan 
Second ditto 
Third ditto 
Fourth ditto 
Fifth ditto 
Sixth ditto 
Seventh ditto 
Eighth ditto 
Ninth ditto 

One Clan 




Clans of the Upmdn Ootra^ hearing the title of Dube. 


... Kesarmou. 

... Jarajmou. 

... Nauratampt^. 

... Matikarh&. 

... Surajpiir. 

... Khewaliya. 

... Unaiyan. 

... Patnah&. 

Clan of the Kdsyap Ootra^ bearing the title of Trivedi, 
... .*• «.. ••• ... xiari. 

Clan of the Kdsyap Ootra^ bearing the title of Tiwdri. 


First Clan, First Branch 
Second ditto] 
Third ditto 
„ Fourth ditto 

Second Clan 

Third ditto 

Fourth ditto 

Fifth ditto 

Sixth ditto 

Seventh ditto ... 

Eighth ditto 













Clans of the Kdshtip Gotra, bearing the title ofBdJpei. 

First Clan, First Branch ... ... ... Kh&lewale. 



Second ditto 

Second Clan ... 
Third ditto ... 
Fourth ditto ... 

One Clan 


... Mathura* 
£[&8hi B&m* 
... ... ... ... Chandanptbr* 

Clan of the Garg Gotra, bearing the title of Chaubi. 

... ... ... Gargaiya* 


Section IL — Kanoujiya Brahmans of Bengal. 

Although some of the Brahmans of Bengal are descended from the Gaurs 
Proper, yet the great majority are the posterity of Brahmans from Kanouj. 
These Brahmans, says Mr. Colebrooke, in his essay on the ^ Enmneration of 
Indian Classes,' originally published in the Asiatic Researches, ^^ are descended 
from five priests, invited from K&nyakubja, by Adiswara, king of Gaura, who 
is said to have reigned about nine hundred years after Christ. These were 
Bhatta Ndx&yana, of the family of S&ndila, a son of Kasyapa; Daksha, also a 
descendant of Easyapa; Vedagarva, of the family of Vatsa; Chandra, of the 
family of Savema, a son of Kasyapa ; and Sri Hersha, a descendant of Bh&rad- 
dw4ja. From these ancestors have branched no fewer than a hundred and fifty- 
six families, of which the precedence was fixed by Ball&la Sena, who reigned in 
the eleventh century of the Christian era. One hundred of these families 
settled in V&rendra ; and fifty-six in Rkrk. They are now dispersed throughout 
Bengal, but retain the family distinctions fixed by BallMa Sena. They are 
denominated from the families to which their five progenitors belonged, and are 
still considered as K^S^nyakubja Brahmans. At the period when these priests 
were invited by the king of Gaura, some Sd^raswat Brahmans, and a few Yaidi- 
kas, resided in Bengal. Of the Brahmans of SS,raswat, none are now found in 
Bengal ; but five families of Yaidikas are extant, and are admitted to intermarry 
with the Brahmans of R&rd.." 

^^ Among the Brahmans of Yd.rendra, eight families have pre-eminence ; and 
eight hold the second rank : 

1. — Yabendra Bbahmans. 
Eiffht KuHn. 

1. Maitra. 

2. Bhima or Eali. 

3. Budra V&gisi. 

4. Sangamini or SandyaU 

5. Lahari. 

6. Bhaduri. 

7. SadhuVagisi. 

8. Bhadara. 

The last was admitted by election of the other seven. 

Eight Sudra Srotriya. 
JEiffhty'four Kashta Srotriya. 

The names of these ninety-two families seldom occur in common intercourse. 
Among those of R&rd, six hold the first rank. 



2. — Rarhiya Brahkans. 

Six KuHn. 

1. Mukhuti, vulgarly, Mokhuijee. 

2. Ganguli. 

3. Kanjelata« 

4. Ghosh &1a. 

5. Bandjagati, vulgarly, Bauerjee. 

6. Chlltati, vulgarly, Chaturjee. 

Fifty Srotrij/a. 

The names of these fifty families seldom occur in common intercourse. 

" The distinctive appellations of the several families are borne by those of 
the first rank ; but in most of the other families they are disused ; and sermarij 
or sermd, the addition common to the whole tribe of Brahmans, is assumed. 
For this practice, the priests of Bengal are censured by the Brahmans of 
Mithila and other countries, where that title is only used on important occasions, 
and in religious ceremonies" (a). Virendra is north of the Gkinges, in the 
District of Mjshahy; and BAtSl is the country to the west of the Bhagirathi 


3. — Pashchatita Vaidik. 

4. — Dakshihatita Vaidik. 

(a) Colehrooke*fl Esmjs, pp. 277, 278* 



The Sabjuparia, ob Sabwabia, Brahmans. 
Section L — 7%e Sarwaria Brahmans Proper. 

This name is given to the descendants of those Brahmans who originally 
occupied the country beyond the Sarju river, in the kingdom of Oudh, and were, 
tradition reports, emigrants from Kanouj. They are now a very numerous branch 
of the great Kanouj iya tribe of Brahmans, and are found from Bahraich in 
Oudh, and the borders of Nepal, throughout the provinces of Benares and Alla- 
habad, as far south and west as Bundelkhand, including the northern portion 
of that territory. The word Sarwaria is a corruption of Sarjupftria, which 
comes from Sarju, the river of that name, and par, the other side. Socially, 
the Sarjupllri Brahmans are not considered of equal rank with the Kanoujiya 
Brahmans Proper, although they themselves naturally do not admit the inferi- 
ority. One tradition states, that Sarjup&n Brahmans were degraded from their 
position as Kanoujiya Brahmans on account of their receiving alms, whereupon 
H&ma Chandra took them under his protection, and gave them possessions on the 
other side of the Saiju. Another tradition, more gratifying to the Sarjupflris 
themselves, is, that they were specially invited from Kanouj by R&ma, on the * 
completion of the war with Ceylon. 

The Sarwarias are very numerous in the GorakhpAr district, where, accord- 
ing to Buchanan, they are divided into nineteen clans. This statement, however, 
needs confirmation. With the means at his command for making elaborate in- 
quiries and researches, it is much to be regretted that this diligent ^nd patient 


investigator was not more carefiil in verifying, systematizing, and digesting the 
vast information he acquired on every subject. 

The Sarjup&ris acknowledge sixteen sub-divisions or gotrasj of which three 
are in the first rank, and thirteen in the second. They are as follows : — 

Principal Gotras of the Sarjup&ria Brahmans. 

1. Garg. 

2. Gautam. 

3. SlindU. 

Brahmans of these gotras^ in their relation to Brahmans of the remaining 
gotras, are regarded as Kiilins. 

Inferior Gotras of the Saryup&ria Brahmans. 

1. Bhftraddwdj. 

2. Yashisth. 

3. Vatsa. 

4. Easyap. (K&syap gotra is, by some, considered 

5. K&syap. separate from the Easyap gotra. K&s- 

6. Eausik. syap was the son of Easyap.) 

7. Chandr&yan. 

8. Sslvaranya. 

9. Fardsar. 

10. Pulasta. 

11. Vrigu. 

12. Atri. 

13. Angir&. 

The list of the thirteen inferior gotras is apt to vary to some extent, 
though most of the names here given will be found in every list I shall not 
enumerate all the separate clans of each of these gotras; but shall content 
myself with furnishing one or more of some of them. 

CloM and TUialar Rank of the Sarwaria Brahtnant, 

Clan of the Garg Gotra, bearing the title of Pande : Itijl 

Clan of the Gkrntam Grotra, bearing the title of D&be : Kanchaniya. 

Clan of the S&ndil Gotra, bearing the title of Plnde : Triphala. 



Clan of the Sandil Gotra, bearing the title of Tiwaii : Pindt. 

Clan of the Bharaddw^ Gtotra, bearing the title of Dftbe : Brihadgr&m. 

Clan of the Vatsa Gotra, bearing the title of Misr : Faiyast. 

Clan of the Vatsa Grotra, bearing the title of Dthe : Samadari. 

Clan of the Easjap Grotra^ bearing the title of Misr : B&rht. 

Clan of the E&sjap Grotra, bearing the title of Pande : Mall 

Clan of the Eiausik 6otra» bearing the title of Misr : Dharmpiir&. 

Clan of the Chand^jan Grotra, bearing the title of Pande : Chapalft* 

Chrn of the S&varanja Gotra, bearing the title of Pande : It&ri. 

Clan of the S&yaranja Gotra, bearing the title of Pande : Jnrwa. 

Clans of the Parasar GrOtra» bearing the title of Pande : 

1. Lohandi. 

2. B&mpiinL 

3. Bironrft. 

4. Sil&sam Dhamonli. 

The following is a list of some other clans with their titles, the gotras of 
which I am unacquainted with : — 



Asht&r Eapal 



















































































... Qjhft. 

... Diibe. 
... do. 

The Brahmans of the two remaining Sections of this Chapter, while placed 
here in association with the Sarjup&ri sub-tribe, are, strictly speaking, only partial- 
ly connected with them, and are much inferior in rank to the pure Sarjup&ris. 

Section II. — 77ie Satoalakhi Brahmans. 

The story of these Brahmans is strange enough. A certain Raja, it is said, 
wishing to give a great, feast to Brahmans, invited a lac and a quarter, or one 
hundred and twenty-five thousand, to his palace. His servants, however, being 
unable to collect so large a number, gathered together a multitude of people of 
all castes, and decorating them with the sacred cord, made them look like Brah- 
mans. The Raja, thinking them all of the genuine twice-born caste, washed their 
feet, fed them, and gave them alms. They and their descendants have been from 
this time regarded .as Brahmans. Another account is, that the Raja wishing to 
perform an important sacrifice requiring the presence of a lac and a quarter of 
Brahmans, assembled a crowd of people from all quarters, without distinction of 
rank or caste, and, bestowing upon them the sacred thread, employed them at the 
sacrifice ; from which time they have held the distinction of Bmhmans. Tradi - 


tion is not uniform respecting the name of this singular eclectic Raja. Some 
accounts speak of him as a Raja of Rewah, or Raja Ram Baghel, or Raja Ram 
simply, of Md>dhu Garh. He is also represented to have been the famous Ram 
Chandra ; or Manick Chand, brother of Jai Chand of Kanouj ; or one of the 
Samait Rajas. It is manifest, therefore, that it is difficult to trace the origin of 
the tale. The exact date of the circumstance is professed to be given by Munshi 
Eishori Lai, in his essay on caste, who, with true Hindu instinct, makes light of 
historic puzzles. He states that it occurred in the year 1563 of our era, during 
the reign of Akbar. 

Although the truth or falsity of this wholesale manufacture of Brahmansfrom 
a promiscuous assemblage of persons of inferior castes be enveloped in mystery, 
yet there is no question that it is commonly believed, not merely by ignorant 
and unthinking people, but also by intelligent natives of education and learning. 
Many of the existing Brahmanical castes in Benares and its neighbourhood 
belong to the Sawalakhi class. Indeed this class is comprehensive and elastic, 
and readily recognizes all those Brahmans who have lost their family traditions 
and can give no satisfactory account of their predecessors. The Sawalakhis, on 
certain conditions, especially by the payment of money, have been permitted to 
unite themselves by marriage with the Sarwarias, and are now for the most part 
included among them. The Gayd,wlLls, Fry&gwdJs, Gangft-putras, Mahd.-Brahmans, 
and other Brahmans eng^d inTspecial sacriiicial ceremonies, of wHom 1^31' 
presentiy give a more detailed account, are, in these parts, chiefly Sawalakhis. 
All of this class are considered to be inferior Brahmans ; and the titles which 
they assume, such as Misr, Diibe, P&nde, Tiwdxi, and so forth, are held in much 
less esteem than are the same titles when worn by other Brahmans. 

The number of separate dans of the Sawalakhi Brahmans is very large. The 
following list represents a few of them ranged according to their honorific tities : — 

Clans: Dube. 

1. Belu& Sauil 

2. ChiUa-pftr. 
8. Shiva-man. 

4. Sakawi-Bhftrga. 

5. Mad&re. 

6. KhirauUL 

7. BopauhalL 

8. Kothrft. 

9. Earaimd&. 

Clans: Upddkia. 

1. Eewet-tMuiflL 

2. Tosawft. 
8. Tirphala. 

Clans: TiwM. 

1. Ehairt. 

2. Tignn&it 










> I 

Claw: MUr. 

d« Parhar^ha. 

Clam: Dikshii. 


Clan: Papde. 
1. Barbas. 

Clans: AwasthL 

Clans: PAthakh. 


Section III. — Other Clans. 

> Thfire^re^sevsrri ^Maes-^Brahgooiuttaj)^ eubordiuate rank enga ged in jhe 
perfprnmnce of special and peculiar ceremonies' and services wEic£,ln the esti- 
mation of Hindus^ are of great importance* These classes, as already stated, 
are^ in the Benares Provi^ce, generally regarded as belonging to the Sawalakhi 
Brahmans. Why Brahmans of a higher grade do not in that part of the country 
undertake such duties, is not apparent. One reason, prominently brought 
forward by the natives themselves, is, that the superior Brahmans are far 
too sacred to engage in such services, which^ however, it is alleged,, are the proper 
vocation of men of an inferior grade. Thus it comes to pass, that the high firah- 
mm& look down upon,, despise, and almost loathe the lower Brahmans, and will 
hold no intercourse w:ith them. The former, in no case whatever, will receive a 
present of money on the banks of the Ganges, or of any other stream, and would 
consider themselves as having committed s, gross sin were they to do so ; whil^ 
the latter will readijy do so. Again, while the inferior Brahmans are alwajrs 
anxious to receive, presents and offerings, some duties^ more or less connected with 
their religion, a^e performed by the superior Brahmans without emolument or 
reward fropi tl;iose who are the objects of then^ ; which is quite consistent with 
the circumstauQe that they, perfoqn many other duties for which payment is 
rigidly exacted. For instance, the teachers of the Yedas and Shastras, as a rule, 
receive nothing from their pupils ; on the contrary, often contribute towards 
their support. But if those same teachers were invited to a marriage festival, 
or were requested to cast the horoscope of a chUd, or to determine the lucky 
day for entering on a new enterprise, they would expect to be remunerated for 
the same. In the matter of teaching th^ sacred books, while they are not paid 
by their scholars, not a few are amply supported by Hindus of wealth and rank 
in their neighbourhood, who regard it as ^ very meritorious act to appropriate 
their money in this nj^ijiner. It is notorious that Brahmans of all rapk^ do not 
scruple to receive grati4ties on great public occasions — as the marriage of a 



Raja, or the visit of a wealthy native coming on pilgrimage to Benares — ^merely as 
Brahmans, without having discharged any duties whatever, and do not hesitate 
to attend the great man's Brahmanical dinner in thousaiids^ Moreover, many 
members of the sacred caste wander about the country as professional beggars, 
levying their black-mail on all the subordinate castes. Stalwart men, of splen- 
did physique^ daubing themselves with ashes and paint, and streaking thiBir 
foreheads, annsi and chests mth the symboUcal marks of Vishnu or Shiva, 
are not ashamed to beg from house to house, and from village to village, and to 
threaten with their anger, and even with their curse, the obsequious and super- 
stitious natives. 

1. The Mahd^Brahman, or great Brahman, called also Mahd-pdtra^ is 
employed by Hindus in times of mourning and on the death of their rel atives. 
The day after a Hindu dies, an earttbien vessel, called ghant^ is filled with water, 
and is Eung upon a tree by a cord, and repIeaisLed night and morning. Every 
i^ening iTsmall lamp^ or chirdgh^ is Ht, and placed over the mouth of tlie 
vessel. These operations are performed by the person who has applied 
the torch to the funeral pile. The vessel, having been previously consecrated 
by the Mahft-Brahman, has a small hole drilled into its bottom, from which the 
water issues in drops. The object of the water is to appease the thirst of the 
departed (Sj^rit; and of the lamp, to shed ligkt upon it during the darkness of the 
night. The MahS^^Brahman is present on the first day, aad recites nmntras^ or 
certain sacred texts, for the well-being of the deceased. After a prescribed 
number of days, he appears again, breaks the vessel, and demands his customary 
reward^ consisting of the clothes, horses, palanquins, and all other personal efiects 
of the departed one, as well as food and money. When a Brahman dies, the 
vessel hangs up for ten days before, being broken ; for a Ejshatriya it hangs up 
twelve days ; for a.Yaisya, fifteen ; and for a Sudra, one month. This was the 
old custom; but in. these degenerate, days, all share alike, and the vessel is 
suspended ten days for everybody. 

Although the title of Mah&^Brahman is given to the Brahman <^ciating 
on these occasions, yet he is by no means regarded as great, as the prefix mahd 
would imply^ for, in the estimation of the entire caste, he occupies a very mean 
position* It is in f yt a contem ptuous epithet. No other Bvahman will touch a 
Mah&-Brahman. Should he by chance do^so, he must bathe, and wash his 


I ' 

I i 

I V 

, -' 

The Mah&-Bil|hman is the same as the Achirj of Bombay and other parts 
of Western India. 


2. Oangd'ptUrOj or son of the Ganges, is a term applied to the Brahman 
who presides over the religious ceremonies performed on the banks of the river 
Ganges at Benares or elsewhere. He is also found at sacred wells, tanks, and 
other pools of water in its neighbourhood, to which devotees resort. He 
likewise directs pilgrims to the temples, or other places, to which they may 
desire to go. They do nothing without first taking counsel of him, and receiv- 
ing his. instructions. On arriving at the hallowed stream he takes a little 
water, and pours it into their hands, in which also he deposits a few dry blades 
of the kiisha grass, and repeats the proper mantras^ or Sanskrit texts. They 
then bathe in the river ; on completing which ceremony, the Gangd,-putra gives 
each a small quantity of chandan, or powdered sandal-wood, which they apply 
to their foreheads on a spot perpendicular to the ridge of the nose. Thereupon, 
the pilgrims present him with their offerings, and proceed to their quarters ; but 
should they wish beforehand to visit some of the celebrated temples, and to 
pay their devotions there, he accompanies them thither, although this is the 
special duty of the Bhanreriya, another class of inferior Brahmans. At 
Benares the number of Gangft-putras is very large. The ghats^ or stairs leading 
down to the river, are apportioned out to them, and they watch over their several 
boundaries with much jealousy. Moreover, they lay claim to the entire bank 
between high and low water-mark, which, seeing that the difference is upwards 
of fifty feet, is considerable. As a class, they are notorious for coarseness of 
manners, licentiousness, and rapacity. Yet the tens of thousands of pilgrims, 
who every year visit Benares, are almost entirely at their mercy. Many of these 
come from remote parts of India, and not a few are of the female sex. Most of 
them arrive tired and worn out by travel, yet full of joy at the thought of having 
at length reached the sacred city. Unsuspectingly, they entrust themselves to 
the sons of the Granges, who with all their wickedness at home have a reputation 
abroad for sanctity. These enfold l^hem within their toils, fleece them of their 
money, and otherwise behave towards them in a shameless manner, while the 
poor pilgrims, being generally utter strangers, having no means of redress, patient- 
ly submit to maltreatment and ignominy. It would be well if the Government 
authorities exercised control not only over the Gangd,-putras, but also over all 
the priests ^ of the temples in Benares, so as to secure their good behaviour and 
the comfort of pilgrims and other worshippers. 

The Gungil-putras are separated from all other Brahmans, and are regarded 
as of an inferior grade. They can intermarry, however, with pandds^ or temple- 


3. The Qaydwdl is an agent of the priests of Grayft* He collects pilgrims 
in Benares and its neighbourhood, with whom he proceeds to Gayd., a famoos 
place of pilgrimage in the province of Behar. He also receives money and 
other presents intended for the priests and temples of that city. The Gay&wftls 
are abundant in Behar, where they are divided into fourteen gotras^ or clans, 
which are precisely of the same name as those of the S&k&dwtpt or Magadh 
Brahmans. The Prydgwdl is an agent performing the same duties in behalf of the 
priests and temples of Pry%, or Allahabad. Emissaries from Jaganndth, and 
from other well-known sacred spots frequented by Hindu pilgrims, also reside in 
Benares, and look after the interests of their sacred religious fraternities. Like 
the €rang&-putras and Mah&-Brahmans, they are all of inferior Brahmanical caste, 
and only intermarry amongst themselves. 

4. The Ojhd is a person who is supposed to have especial jurisdiction over 
bkitis and pretSy — that is, imps and goblins, — ^in the existence and evil influence 
of which, most Hindus, particularly the uneducated, place implicit credence. 
When a Hindu falls sick, it is customary to send for the Ojh& Brahman, that he 
may exorcize the foul spirit. On arriving at the house the C)jh& seats himself 
on the ground, and places in front of him a small quantity of barley, the grains 
of which he counts. He then meditates. Aiter a reasonable time he announces 
his decision, to the effect, that the bh^^ or imp, which has seized and entered 
into the sick person, is a bhut attached to the family of a deceased father-in-law, 
or uncle, or anybody else whom his fancy may hit upon, or is a strange and 
unknown bhut that seized him at a certain place while travelling, or is some 
other still, which his powers of invention enable him to account for. There- 
upon, the Ojhd, orders some cloves to be brought, which^ after reciting several 
texts in the way of charms or incantations, are folded in a cloth, and tied to the 
bedstead on which the invalid is lying. On this the latter is instructed to declare 
what bhut is within him. This he does by stating, ^^ I am the bhiit of my father- 
in-law, or uncle, or of a certain house, or tree, or hill," according as he has been 
directed. Then the Ojh& suggests that a sheep, or goat, or other animal, should 
be sacrificed ; that the hom^ or burnt-offering, should be made ; and that presents 
should be given to the Brahmans. This terminates the ceremony of exorcism, 
and the intruding bhut should then in decency withdraw, and the patient recover. 
Fortunately for the Ojhft, his fee and perquisites do not depend on this latter 

Formerly, the Ojhft was always a Brahman : but his profession has become 
so profitable that sharp, clever, shrewd men in all the Hindu castes have taken 



to it, and find employment proportioned, it may be, to the skill they display in 
the exorcising process. 

5. The Bhanreriya is a man of considerable influence in Benares, 
although in reality holding a very low position among Brahmans. He is by pro- 
fession a prognosticator of coming events ; and it needs scarcely be added that, 
in a large city like Benares, penetrated through and through with superstition, 
his services are much in request from the highest Hindu to the lowest To this 
lucrative occupation he adds another. The multitudes of pilgrims who are con- 
stantly visiting the sacred city from all parts of India every month of the year, 
require a great many guides to direct them to those interesting places in the 
city, the famous wells, and tanks, and temples, and ghats, — ^to which it is usual for 
pilgrims to go and there pay their demotions, — and to initiate them into the duties 
to be performed at each spot. The Bhanreriyas discharge the frmctions of guides 
to such persons, and are well paid for their pains, especially as they do not 
scruple to take various kinds of presents, which more respectable Brahmans 
would reject with indignation. The god Saturn, or Sanichar, is mostly worship- 
ped by these people. As Saturday is the day sacred to this deity, on which he 
receives special adoration, it is customary for the Bhanreriyas to receive presents 
of oil on this day in honour of the god. 

The Bhanreriya is also called Bhaddali, from following the tenets of Bhad- 
dal. Many of the clan are found at Rudrpiir, in the Grorakhpiir district ; and 
the village has consequently received the appellation of Bhaddalpiir, or town 
inhabited by Bhaddalis. It is said, and is commonly believed in that neighbour- 
hood, that Bhaddalp{lr is the birth-place of the race. The clan is likewise 
spoken of by the terms Dakaut and Joshi. 







Section L 

These Brahmans belong chieflj, though not ezclusively, to the Sarwaria 
branch of the Eanoujiya tribe. They are found in large numbers in the city of 
Benares, and in the district and proyince of the same name, and even as far as 
the northern part of Behar. 

Some doubt has been thrown on the purity of their blood as Brahmans. 
It has been said that they are Eshatriya or Rajpoot Brahmans ; or are partly 
Rajpoots and partly of other castes ; or are a race of bastard Brahmans. I 
have been unable to obtain any trustworthy evidence for such assertions. 
Nevertheless, there is no question that they do not occupy a high rank and 
position among the Brahmanical races. The reasons for this I conceive to be 
three-fold : — 

1. The BhMnh&rs are addicted to agriculture, a pursuit considered to be 
beneath the dignity of pure, orthodox Brahmans. The word is partly derived 
from bhuln or bhumi — ^land. 

2. They have accepted and adopted in their chief families the secular 
titles of Raja, Maharaja, and so forth, distinctions which high Brahmans alto- 
gether eschew. Hence, such BhMnh&rs have in a sense degraded from their 
position of Brahmans to that of Rajpoots, whose honorific title of Singh they 
commonly affix to their names. The Maharaja of Benares, who is the acknow- 
ledged head of the Bhiiinhlir Brahmans in that city, is styled Maharaja Ishwaree 


Narain Singh. The title of Singh is borne by all the members, near and remote, 
of the Maharaja's family. 

3. The BhMnh&rs only perform one-half of the prescribed Brahmanical 
duties. They give alms, but do not receive them ; they offer sacrifices to their 
idols, but do not perform the duties and offices of a priesthood ; they read the 
sacred writings, but do not teach them. 

Sir Henry Elliot says : — " We perhaps have some indications of the true origin 
of Bhi^nh&r in the names of Gargabhftmi and Vatsabhftmi, who are mentioned 
in the Harivansa as Eshatriya Brahmans, descendants of E^ya princes. Their 
name of Bhftmi, and residence at E&si (Benares), are much in favour of this 
view ; moreover, there are to this day Garga and Yatsa Grots, or Gotras, amongst 
the Sarwaria Brahmans" (a). 

It is quite true, as before remarked, that this tribe is numerous in Benares 
and its neighbourhood, though not as descendants of Easiya princes. The 
Maharaja of Benares is undoubtedly a BhMnh&r ; but his &,unlj dates only 
from the first-half of the preceding century. There is no evidence to show that 
in olden times princes of Benares were ever BhMnh&rs. 

By the people of the country of other castes, among whom they dwell, 
they are called indiscriminately BhMnh&rs, Gautams, and Th&kurs. The term 
Brahman is not, I believe, applied to them in common conversation, as it is to 
other Brahmans ; but this is no valid argument against their right to the title. 
The BhMnh&rs call themselves Brahmans ; have the gotras^ titles, and fiimily 
names of Brahmans ; practise, for the most part, ^the usages of Brahmans, and, 
in default of proper evidence to the contrary, must be regarded as Brahmans. 

While the Gautams of Benares are called BhMnhdxs, they are so simply 
from the accident of the BhMnh&rs there mostly belonging to the Gautam gotra. 
There are other gotras of BhiUnh&rs besides the Gautam. Moreover, although 
the Bhiiinh&rs are chiefly connected with the Sarwaria branch of the K&nkubja 
tribe of Brahmans, yet some of them are allied to the Eanoujiya Brahmans 
Proper. For instance, the BkhtiB of Champur in the Chaprah district are 
BhMnhS^rs of this latter sub-tribe. The name of their clan is Eksariya ; of 
their goira^ Far&sar ; and of their title, Dlkshit. They have three Pravaras, — 
namely, Shakti, Yasisht, and Parftsar. They originally followed the S&ma Yeda 
of the Kauthumiya Sdkhft, or branch ; but as there were no Brahmans in that 
part of the country learned in the S&ma Yeda to perform for them the offices of 
the priesthood, they embraced the Yajur Yeda of the Madhyan-deva S&kh&. 

(a) ElliDt*8 Sapplemental GloBsaKy, YoL I, p. 21. 



In the face of the peculiar Brahmanical terminology and nomenclature in 
use among the BhMnh&rs, which differ in toto ccbIo from those employed by all 
other castes, of their Brahmanical habits and customs, and of their claim to be 
regarded as Brahmans, the statement of Mr. Campbell in his recent work on 
the Ethnology of India (page 66), that "there seems to be no doubt that this 
class is formed by an intermixture of Brahmins with some inferior caste," is 
untenable. He assigns no reason for such an observation further than that 
"they live in strong and pugnacious brotherhoods, and are in character much 
more like Rajpoots than Brahmins." 

The opinion of Mr. Beames, in his edition of Sir H. Elliot's Supplemental 
Glossary on the physical characteristics of the BhMnhS^rs, is true and worth 
recording : " They are a fine manly race, with the delicate Aryan type of fea- 
ture in full perfection, yet," he adds, " their character is bold and overbearing, 
and decidedly inclined to be turbulent," — a strong expression, which it would 
not be easy to substantiate or justify. 

The following is a list of some of the clans, gotras^ and titles of the 
Bhi^inh&r Brahmans : — 





























The most important of these clans in Benares is the Bipra branch of the 
Gautam gotra^ of the Misr rank, to which belong the Maharaja of Benares together 
with the noble families connected with him, and the family of the late Raja Sir Deo 
Narain Singh and of his son Raja Sambhu Narain Singh. It is of the Eauthumiya 
Sftkhft, or branch, of Brahmans, following the ritual of the S&ma Veda. It has 
three Praviras (distinguished by the number of knots in the Brahmanical 
cord) — ^the Gautam, Angiras, and Autathiya. The clan intermarries with the 
Bhi^inh&rs of the Madhyandiva S&khft, or branch, of Brahmans, observing the 



ritual of the Tajor Veda. It is traditionally allied to the Saijup&ri Brahmans of 
the village of Madhubani, beyond the Gogra, who, strange to say, are Shat 
Earmas, — ^that is, perform the sij^ duties enjoined on Brahmans. This relation- 
ship seems to show that the Bhiiinhd^r Brahmans, who now observe only three 
of the Brahmanical obligations, were once orthodox, and observed the entire six. 
The Maharajah of Bettiah is a BhMnh&r of the Jaithariya clan of the 
E&syap gotra, of the Madhyandana S&khS,, observing the ritual of the Tajur 
Veda. The Raja of SheohS^r, the Rdjkum&r Babu of MS^dhoban, and several 
small landholders of Champ&ran, are of the same caste (a). The Chaudhari 
clan of the BhS.raddw&j gotra^ with the title of F&nde, is of the Madhyandana 
S&kh&, which follows the Yajur Veda. And the Eolhas are of the E&syap 
gotra^ of the Madhyandana S&kh&, which also practises the ceremonies of the 
Yajur Veda. 

Section 11. — Bhulnhdr Tribes of the Ohazipur District. 

1. The Einw&r BhMnh&rs have three great divisions, called after their 
ancestors ; these are — 

1. Rfijdhar. 

2. Makund. 

3. Pithour Rai. 

The Einw&r BhMnh&rs are related to the Eanw&r Rajpoots. A branch of 
the BhMnh&rs in the GhazipAr District became Mahomedans, and settled in the 
village of Barah and the surrounding territory, in the Zamaniah pargannah. 
The village has a population of upwards of five thousand persons. The 
Makund clan are more wealthy than the RSjdhar ; but are not so high in rank. 

2. The Bemw&r BhAinhftrs have fourteen villages in the Narhi pargannah 
of the Ghazipiir district, some of which are very large. They are said to have 
originally come from Bemptlr, and to be descended from Dawan Rai, from whom 
they can trace their pedigree to themselves through thirty generations. The chief 
village of the Bemw&rs is Narhi,- in which are five thousand three hundred 
inhabitants. They are a very prosperous and loyal people. 

3. The Sakarw&r BhMnhUrs are related to the Sakarwftr Rajpoots, as is 
shown in the account of the latter tribe. In the Ghazipibr district they are, 
remarks Dr. Oldham, " generally rich, and have retained ttfe greater part of their 

(a) Elliot's Supplemental Qikmtaj, Mr. Beames* Note, Vol. I, p. 23. 


hereditary property." These people " occupy a very fertile tract of lowland 

4. The Dunwfi^r BhMnh&rs state that they came from the neighbourhood 

of Fathpftr-Sikrl, and are descended from a Brahman named Duna Ch&rgiya. 
Branches of the family settled, at various times, in the Azimgarh, Benares, and 
Ghazipiir districts. Jhain Bhat colonized a part of the Zamaniah pargannah 
of the latter district, where his posterity still flourishes. They are, says Dr. 
Oldham, "frugal and industrious." He adds, "the ancestor of Dunw&rs of 
two or three villages was in the military service of the emperor ; and received 
from him for his valour the title of * Khan,' which is borne to the present day by 
all his descendants." 

. 6. The Kastw&r occupy about twenty-six villages in the Maho- 
madabS,d par^an/iaA of the Ghazipiir district. They profess to have inhabited 
that territory for ages past, and to be the descendants of the few Brahmans who 
originally were located among the aboriginal population. Respecting this 
circumstance. Dr. Oldham makes the following important and suggestive observ- 
ation : " they may be regarded as a link which connects the Hindu occupation 
of the Gupta era with the Hindu occupation of the district in modern times'^ (a). 

The relationship undoubtedly subsisting between the BhMnh^r Brahmans 
and BhMnh^r Rajpoots is exceedingly interesting. Dr. Oldham throws some 
light on this subject in his account of the BhMnhftrs inhabiting the GhazipAr 
district. He remarks, that " there are numerous sub-divisions, or tribes, of the 
BhMnhltrs, and these are generally, if not always, called by the name of some of 
the recognized Rajpoot clans, or races. Thus we have KinwS.r, Gautam, and 
Kausik BhMnhS^rs, as also Kinw&r, Gautam, and Eausik Rajpoots ; but there are 
many Rajpoot tribes which have no representative among the 
Whether any connexion exists between the Rajpoot and Bh^nh&r tribes of the 
same name, is an obscure point ; but, in this district, the BhMnh&r and corre- 
sponding Rajpoot tribes sometimes name the same city or country as the first 
home of their race; and, in one case, a BhMnhd.r and a Rajpoot tribe both claim 
descent from a common ancestor, and each admits that the pretensions of the 
other are well-founded" (i). 

The Bhiiinh&rs " are congregated," says Sir H. Elliot, " chiefly in Deog&nw 
of Azimgarh; in Gorakhpib*; in Doabeh and Saidpiir Bhitii, of Ghazip^; and 

(a) For farther information on these tribes, see Dr. W. Oldham's Historical and Statistical Memoir of 
Ihe GhazipCLr District, pp. 67 — 70. 

(6) Memoir of the Ghasipibr District, p. 48. 



in Majhfiwar, Mehw&ri, SheopAr, Narwan, Kol Asia, DhAs and Kaswar of 
Benares ; also in Majhowa, SimrS^nw, and Mehsi of Champ&ran, in Beh&r." To 
which Mr. Beames adds, " this caste is widely spread all over Northern Behar, 
Benares, and GorakhpAr; and less frequent in Southern Behar" (a). In Allaha- 
bad, there are upwards of a thousand Gautam Brahmans, and in Banda more 
than three thousand, meaning, I suppose, BhMnhS^rs. In Gorakhpiir, there are 
thirty thousand ; in Azimgarh, forty -six thousand ; in Jaunpiir, three thousand ; 
in Mirzapiir, four thousand ; and in Benares, twenty-one thousand. The last census 
returns, from which these numbers are taken, are, I fear, not very trustworthy, 
and can only be regarded as giving the truth approximately. For instance, in 
the Benares district the BhMnhS^rs are, in all probability, not fewer than fifty or 
sixty thousand in number. In Benares, Ghazipilr, GorakhpUr, BhS^galpiir, and 
probably elsewhere, BhMnhfi^r Rajpoots are found as well as BhMnh&r Brahmans. 
The Raja of Tamkohi is at the head of the BhMnhS.r Rajpoots. 

Section IIL 

As the BhMnh&rs are the most prominent personages amongst the natives 
of Benares, I purpose giving here a brief account of several of their distin- 
guished families. The first will be that of the Maharaja of Benares. 



This nobleman is the recognized head of the native community of the city 
and district of Benares, and, in virtue of such position, exerts a great influence 
upon all classes of the people. In ordinary times, this influence operates calmly 
and secretly, yet its incidence is felt in every direction. Its recognition and 
acknowledgment have become a part of the instinctive consciousness of the 
Hindus of the city and neighbourhood ; and they never question its weight or 
authority. But it is in times of strife and stir that this occult power exhibits its 
real energy. Then the people look to the Maharaja as to their natural leader, 
and place themselves at his disposal. His word comes to them with far greater 
force than the command of any other person, be he who or what he may. Such 
authority is not peculiar to the Maharaja of Benares, for it is possessed by many 
nobles in India, and is frequently wielded too by them much more than he cares 
to wield it. It difiers altogether from that of an English nobleman among his 
tenantry. It is like that which the nobility of England held in their hands in 

(a) Sapplemental Qloasazy, Vol. I, pp. 22, 23. 


the age of feudalism — is like that of the Campbells, and MacCulloms, and 
Grahams, in Scotland, two hundred years ago. 

The family of the Benares prince is not old ; compared with the great 
fimiilies of Udaiptlr and Joudhpdr, is but of yesterday. Little is known 
about the ancient Rajas of Benares, save that there were such men. They 
have passed away, and scarcely a name survives. In the beginning of the 
last century, when the Sircar, or territory, of Benares, came into the pos- 
session of the Nawab of Oudh, who governed it in subordination to his 
Suzerain, the Mogul Emperor, Mir Ri^tam ShS^h was appointed as deputy, 
or lieutenant, to direct its affairs, and to act as ruler in behalf of the 
Nawab. There was then living at Gangd^p^, a village eight miles from Benares, 
a small zemindar, or landholder, of the Gautam branch of the Bhiiinh&r Brahmans, 
named MansS, R&m. This man entered the service of the Nftzim Mir Riistam 
Sh&h. His varied talents soon brought him into notice : and his master came 
to regard him as his most energetic and skilful officer. By degrees his influence 
extended over all the country within the jurisdiction of R^tam Shfth, and the 
Nawab himself was not ignorant of his name and character. It is not astonish- 
ing, therefore, that, on occasion of the misconduct and consequent disgrace of 
the Deputy, Mans4 R&m should have been entrusted with the management of the 
Sircar. He retained charge of it until his death, about the year 1739. He was 
succeeded by his son, Balwant Singh, to whom, in his life-time, he had actually 
entrusted its administration, although continuing its nominal ruler. At his soli- 
citation, the Emperor of Delhi granted him the title of Raja, not apparently for 
himself, but for his son, Balwant Singh, who was thenceforward called Raja of 

Such was* the origin of the Benares family. Its real founder was Mansft 
Rftm ; but the lustre and high reputation of the family, during the last century, 
were due not so much to the labours of Mans& R&m as to those of his son. 
Raja Balwant Singh far surpassed his father in ability. His daring and cun- 
ning, his unbounded energy, his wonderful determination, his fertility of device, 
his untamed rapacity, passed into a proverb. In the course of his eventftJ life 
he came into collision with all his neighbours, fought with them many a battle, 
which always ended in the capture of their forts and the annexation of their 
lands. The principle of annexation was understood in those days as well as 
in later times. By foul means and fair, mostly the former, Balwant Singh 
succeeded in obtaining ninety-six pargannahs^ or large baronies, from which he 
collected the revenue, and which he governed with almost despotic power. Tet 


he nerer presumed on absolute sovereignty. He paid a large fixed sum yearly 
as revenue to his Suzerain, whom he acknowledged as his superior, and to 
whom appeals from his acts were supposed to lie. On the other hand, there is 
no question that he obeyed the Nawab only at pleasure. He kept a formidable 
body of armed retainers, with whose aid he carried on his guerillas, which the 
Nawab was unable either to punish or repress. On one notable occasion, the 
Nawab, being more than ordinarily incensed at his refractory vassal, led a large 
force from Ondh to Benares against him. Balwant Singh fled, and shut himself 
up in one of his forts. He was too wily to fight with him, and too wary to 
meet him peaceably. But he organized a huge system of robbery ; and the 
Nawab's camp was beset perpetually by sharks and thieves, who pilfered day 
and night on a prodigious scale. The Nawab was at length wearied out, and 
was obliged to quit Benares, and to make terms with the Raja, who, on the 
departure of his master, returned to his palace in Benares, 

When the battle of Buxar was fought between the British troops and the 
Vizier of Oudh, the latter deemed it prudent to send away Baja Balwant Singh, 
who had appeared in answer to a summons from his liege lord, attended by an 
imposing force, with the ostensible object of rendering him assistance. Afler 
the battle, the Baja made his submission to the English, which act, together 
with his previous neutrality, secured to him the staunch firiendship and firm 
protection of Lord Clive. In the treaty that was subsequently made with the 
Nawab, a special provision was inserted in favour of Balwant Singh, in spite 
of the utmost efforts of the Vizier to prevent it. He cherished intense indigna^ 
tion towards the Raja, not so much on account of old grievances, as by reason 
of the part he had taken prior and subsequent to the battle of Buxar, whereby 
his own plans had been defeated, and the Raja had ingratiated himself with the 
new rulers of the eountry. Clive was too astute not to see through the mali* 
ctous fiiSLTLB of the Nawab to ruin his vassal. Yet when he left for England, 
bis weak and incapable successor, Mr. Vansittart, yielded temporarily to the 
wishes of the Nawab to crush tlie Raja, who was only saved by his own prompt^ 
ness and presence of mind. 

Nevertheless, it is perfectly true, that the Raja of Benares would have been 
utterly destroyed had it not been fbr the aid and support of the British Govern- 
ment. Balwant Singh passed away, leaving a vast inheritance to Cheit Singh^ a 
son by an irregular marriage, who^ mainly through the zeal and adroitness of hia 
faithful adviser, Babu Ausftn Singh, ancestor of the late distinguished Raja Six 
Deo Narain Singh Bahftdfnr^ and not without some difficulty, became hia fatl^r's 


successor. Cheit Singh was placed on the same footing in relation to the British 
Government as that held by his father; had the same jurisdiction, and occupied 
the same estates ; and might have been, like him, an honoured and privileged 
feudatory, had he chosen to be so. But falling out with his sage counsellor, 
and left to his own resources, he had the inconceivable folly to run counter to 
the wishes of Warren Hastings, who at one time was his friend, but became 
his bitter and relentless enemy. None can exonerate Warren Hastings from 
harshness and vindictiveness in his treatment of the Raja. At the same time, 
the demands which Warren Hastings made on him, though excessive, were 
within his legitimate province, if he saw fit, as Governor-General, to make ; and 
were also not beyond the ability of the Raja to meet. The issue is well known. 
Gheit Singh's rebellion brought with it transient danger to Warren Hastings per- 
sonally, and likewise to British domination over the Benares territory. But both 
kinds of danger speedily passed away ; and Gheit Singh lived and died a rebel. 

Yet the Rajaship, though forfeited, was, by the merciful consideration of the 
Government, after a season of suspension, given to a descendant of Ranee 
Gulab, daughter of Raja Balwant Singh; in other words, was removed from the 
male to the female branch of the family. Littie need be said respecting the 
Rajas who have in succession held that title. Although aU the honour and 
much of the influence connected with it still remain, yet the actual authority 
and executive power possessed by Balwant Singh, or even by Cheit Singh, have 
entirely disappeared; and the holder of the tide is now only a great and 
wealthy noble occupying large estates. 

The title was originally, and until lately, simply that of Raja ; but the 
chief now in the enjoyment of it was further ennobled a few years since for the 
part he took in adhering to the Government, and rendering it support, in the 
mutiny of 1857, and received the title of Maharaja, or great Raja. From that 
time to the present the Government have shown him marked attention. He has 
had the honour of entertaining, on several occasions, the Viceroys who have 
visited Benares; and, in default of a son, has been permitted to adopt his 
nephew as his successor. When Prince Alfred came to the sacred city, the 
Maharaja accompanied him and Earl Mayo to his estate at Chakiya, twenty 
miles off, on a tiger hunt, where the prince had some excellent sport. The 
Maharaja is a man of prepossessing and . courteous manners, and of a calm 
and tranquil spirit \ imd while endowed with the ease and perfect self-posses- 
sion so peculiar to Orientals, is destitute of the haughtiness of bearing frequently 
displayed by them. 




Of all the native residents in Benares, for many years past, the deceased 
Raja was the most distinguished. On several important occasions he rendered 
great service to the Government, and throughout the mutiny was the chief 
native counsellor and helper of the local authorities. THe aid he gave during 
the whole of that season of peril and difficulty was most efficient and praise- 
worthy. He had already been created Rao Bahadur, for the ability he dis- 
played during the disturbances in Benares in the year 1852; and for his signal 
acts of loyalty in the mutiny of 1857, he was created a Raja. He was one of 
the first native members of the Legislative Council of India, and was requested 
by the Viceroy a second time to join the Council, but declined the honour. In 
1866, he was made a Knight Commander of the Star of India at the Viceregal 
Durbar held at Agra. It should be mentioned also, that, in 1857, in addition to 
the title of Raja, Deo Narain Singh received a khilaty or robe of honour, of the 
value of ten thousand rupees, and a perpetual grant of twenty-five thousand 
rupees annually from the Saidpiir-Bhitri estate. 

By the death of this large-hearted, sagacious man, Benares has sustained 
a great and almost irreparable loss. His influence in the city was in every way 
beneficial. He was a kind-hearted friend and a faithful counsellor; and his 
door was open at all times to admit persons seeking his advice or aid. During 
my residence in India, I have become acquainted with a large number of natives, 
but I never met one who, for ability, candour, zeal in the public service, and 
true magnanimity, was to be compared with this noble Hindu. For these 
qualities he became known far and wide, and was regarded everywhere with 
admiration and esteem, both by Europeans and his fellow-countrymen. He was 
the founder of the Benares Institute, over which he presided with great tact 
and zeal to the day of his death. His speeches were always pithy and full of 
practical wisdom, exhibiting the clearness and force of his own vigorous mind. 
As a president he was in every way most exemplary. His numerous friends, 
English and native, in Benares and elsewhere, have made a subscription to defi^y 
the expense of a marble bust, to be deposited in the Town Hall about to 
be erected through the munificence of the Maharaja of Vizianagram, k.c.s.i. 

In the second volume of Kaye's Sepoy War, in the narrative of the mutiny 
in Benares, sufficient prominence is not given to the very important part whidi 
was taken by Raja Deo Narain Singh, in the maintenance of order in the city 
and neighbourhood during that crisis. Some persons are unduly praised, but 


there is one to whom only a scant measure of thanks is awarded. For the 
honour of the Indian Government, and the satisfaction of loyal natives in 
Benares and elsewhere, I earnestly trust that the title of Raja will be made 
hereditary in the family of this illustrious man. 

In a memorandum drawn up by a former Judge of Benares on the claims 
of the family of Raja Sir Deo Narain Singh to the consideration of the Govern- 
ment, the following important statement is made respecting the deceased Raja. 
" When the rebellion broke out in 1857, Benares was in a position of extreme 
danger aftd insecurity. The station formed the base of all our operations to 
the northward, and had it been abandoned, or had it fallen into the hands of the 
rebels, that base would have been lost, and the consequence would, in all like- 
lihood, have been the loss of Upper India and of every European life between 
Calcutta and Lahore. This catastrophe was, under Providence, chiefly averted 
by the courage, determination, and influence of the present Commissioner 
(I860) Mr. Gubbins; and I believe I am asserting no more than the simple 
truth, when I state, that all his exertions and devotion would have been unavail- 
ing, had he not been unflincbingly and zealously supported by Raja Deo Narain 
Singh. With the hereditary courage and loyalty of his race, the Raja devoted 
his whole property, his time, and energy, and even his life itself, had it been 
called for, to the service of the Government. He furnished guards of faithful 
men for the safety of the local authorities ; kept up an intelligence department, 
to supply information of all that occurred in the city and its neighbourhood ; 
and raised a loyal band of three hundred retainers for the service of the 
Government. This body of men proceeding out with his camels and elephants 
was the means of rescuing the Europeans from Jaunpiir. The Raja also 
furnished grain and supplies for the troops, and gave up twelve horses and an 
elephant for their conveyance ; and when the danger was most imminent, and 
the local authorities were most in want of the support and countenance of a 
native gentleman of his position and influence, he abandoned his own house in 
the city, and took up his quarters in that occupied by Mr. Gubbins, in order to 
be able at all times, and on all occasions, to give that oflicer all the aid and 
counsel in his power" (a). 

During the latter half of the last century, an ancestor of the lat« Raja, 
Babu Ausftn Singh, was a man of great power and influence. He was first the 
Dewan, or Chief Minister, of Raja Balwant Singh, and was his principal adviser 

(a) Memorandum of the SaidpC^-Bhitrt Estate, compiled from original documents, p. 20. 



in his long quarrel with the Vizier of Oudh, and in all those delicate political 
movements which eventuated in the Raja becoming the staunch friend and ally 
of the British Government. On the death of Balwant Singh, as there were 
several claimants for the Rajaship, Babu Aus&n Singh, by a series of skilfiil 
manoeuvres, succeeded in obtaining the public recognition of Cheit Singh as 
successor to his father. But Cheit Singh fell out with his faithful servant ; and 
consequently, in the moment of his greatest difficulties, when he needed a calm 
and vigorous understanding to save him from ruin, he was left to himself, and 
rushing into rebellion, was obliged to abandon his home in Benares, to which 
he was destined never to return. Humanly speaking, Raja Cheit Singh would 
have been saved from such a disaster, had his old adviser, and the old adviser 
of the family, been at his side. 

When Cheit Singh's rebellion occurred, and three English officers, with a 
large portion of their escort, were massacred, it was mainly through the energy 
and zeal of BabU Ausd.n Singh that Warren Hastings and all the British officers 
with him, together with their small force, were preserved from destruction. Sir 
Edward Colebrooke, who was with the Governor-General at the time, in the 
capacity of Persian translator, and was afterwards Resident of Benares, says, 
that Babu AusS,n Singh " furnished a body of horsemen, who were stationed 
for the protection of the rear of the Residency during the few days which Mr. 
Hastings subsequently passed there ; and that the Babu subsequently attended 
the Governor- General to Chunar; and that he knew that Mr. Hastings attri- 
buted to the interposition of Aus&n Singh the withdrawal of the Ranee and her 
sons from under Cheit Singh's influence; and that for these services the 
Governor-General had selected the Babu to act as naib (deputy) of the pro- 
vince until the succession to the Rdj should be disposed of" (a). For a time 
Babu Aus4n Singh administered " the revenues and government of the country 
in the quality of naib," until the successor to Cheit Singh as Raja was deter- 
mined on. 

Before the disgrace of Cheit Singh, the Government had prevailed on him 
to make over to Babu Aus4n Singh, in consideration of his distinguished 
services, the pargannah^ or large barony, of " Syudpore Bhittree," with which 
" the Babu had been connected in the previous Raja Balwant Singh's time." 
On the death of the Babu, he was succeeded by his son, Babu Shiva Narain 
Singh, who, true to the loyal instincts of his family, rendered essential aid to the 

(a) Memorandum on the Saidp&r-Bhitri Estate, p. 4. 


Government during "a very serious disturbance" in Benares, in the year 1811, 
on occasion of the introduction of a new house-tax. The Magistrate of the 
time, Mr. Bird, says, that " he was greatly indebted to Babu Shiva Narain Singh, 
jaghirdar of Syudpore Bhittree, the only native of any consequence who had 
supported him on that occasion. The Babu protected the bazars in the city, 
and, through the support he afforded to the police, the corn-markets were 
unmolested, and the city supplied with corn at the usual price, when no other 
article of consumption was procurable." The Government expressed " their 
high sense of Babu Shiva Narain's patriotic conduct ; and bestowed a khilat on 
him as a testimony of their approval of his exertions in the maintenance of the 
public peace " (a). 

It sounds exceedingly strange that the next important event in connection 
with this spirited and loyal family should be the successful attempt of the 
Government to gain possession of the pargannah originally granted by Raja 
Cheit Singh to Babu Aus4n Singh. This occurred in 1828, not without great 
opposition on the part of Babu Shiva Narain Singh. In issuing orders on the 
subject for the ejection of the Babu from a tenure which for fifty years had 
contributed mainly to the support of the family, it was urged, whether in 
mockery or solemn seriousness, is hard to say, that " the necessities of the pub- 
lic service required the measure." " If," the Government added, " Babu Shiva 
Narain should resolve on contesting their orders, he would thereby forfeit every 
claim to the indulgence of Government" (i). The Babu, as was natural, 
would not admit this claim of the Government to seize an estate granted so 
long ago to his father by Raja Cheit Singh, and consequently instituted a suit 
against the Government for a reversal of their orders. Thereupon, the matter 
was re-considered, but in the meantime Babu Shiva Narain died, and was 
succeeded by his son, Babu Har Narain Singh, father of the late Raja Sir Deo 
Narain Singh BahS^dur. The result of the dispute ,was, that, instead of the 
entire revenue of the pargannah of SaidpAr-Bhitn being enjoyed by the family, 
as formerly, the Babu was obliged to be satisfied with one-fourth of the same, 
amounting to 36,330 rupees, or three thousand six hundred and thirty-three 
pounds, the remaining three-fourths being paid to the Government. 

Notwithstanding this treatment, the loyalty of the family, and its zeal for 
the public welfare, never flagged. 'Although only deriving a fourth part of 

(a) Memorandum on the Saidpur-Bhitri Estate, p. 12. 

(b) Ibid, p. 17. 


their former income from the Saidpto estate, yet both father and son, the latter 
in a yery conspicuous manner, as already shown, laboured diligently to maintain 
the authority of the Government in the city and district generally, and in every 
way to promote the prosperity of the people. In 1857, however, as before stated, 
when the late Raja had rendered assistance to the Government, of immense 
importance, the sum of 25,000 rupees, or less than another fourth part, was 
granted in perpetuity to him and his male successors, out of the Saidpiir-Bhitri 

It was my good fortune to be intimately acquainted with the late Raja 
Sir Deo Narain Singh for several years before his death, and I shall long remem- 
ber with great pleasure the many virtues of this estimable man. For liberality 
of sentiment, candour, and common sense, combined with a spirit of kindness and 
benevolence, I have met with very few natives in India to be compared with him 
for an instant. He only needed Christianity to make him a perfect Hindu. He 
is succeeded by his son. Raja Sambhu Narain Singh, who is upwards of thirty 
years of age, has been educated at Queen's college, Benares, and speaks English 
fluently. He is a man of promise, and has evidently the desire to follow in 
his father's footsteps. He has lately been made an honorary magistrate of 




SING BAHADUR, k.c.8.i. 

(From DoewmmU in Po88e89%on of the Family,) 

Narsinffh Deo. 
Bikram Shih. 
E&flh! N&th. 




Murdan S&h. 
(Sole T&laqdftr of Auradpar or Darekha, A. D. 1704.) 

Dftya Rftm. 

'__ I 

FahalmAu Singh. 

Baba Aadhii Singh. 

(Baba Aiuin Singh 
made over to him the 
family tiluqdftri, or 
estate, of Darekha, on 
his receiying the 
jaghir of SaidpOr- 

Babu AusAn Singh. 

(Beoeived from 
Cheit Singh, Baja of 
Benares, the jagbir 
of SaidpCLr-Bhitrt 

Badab Singh. Khem KarQn Singh. 


Babu Sihil Fandd. 

I I 

Babu DnrgA Paisftd. Babu Shiva Narain 


(Beceived a kkUat 
from the Government 
in 1801, and again in 

Babu Sri Narain Singh. 

Raja Sir Deo Narain Singh. 

(Beceived from the 
Government a khikU 
of succession in 1846 ; 
in 1868, was made 
Bao Biahftdnr ; in 
1857, was made Baja 
Bahddnr, received a 
khilat of Bs. 10,000, 
and a perpetual gfrant 
of Bs. 26,000 out of 
the Saidpiir-Bhitri 
estate; in 1866, was 
made Knight Com- 
mander of the Star of 
India, of the second 
class. Died in the 
year 1870.) 

Raja Sambhu Narain Singh. 
(The present Baja.) 

Babu Rah Narain Singh. 



TliijS gentleman is a relatiTe of His Highness the Maharaja of Benares. 
He is well known for his public spirit and for the zeal which he exhibits in all 
matters tending to promote the welfare of the people. For many years, the 
meetings of the Benares Institute, of which he was for a long time Vice-Presi- 
dent, but of which he has been lately made Fl*esident, in succession to the late 
Raja Sir Deo Narain Singh Bahadur, have been held in his house. He affords in 
himself a fine example of a Hindu gentleman. 

Babu Aiswarya Narayana Sinha is a son of the preceding. Like many of 
the young aristocracy of Benares, he has much time on his hands, which, unlike 
most of them, however, he devotes to the improvement of himself and his 
neighbours. He has been for years one of the leading spirits of the Benares 
Institute, of which he is the principal secretary. He is an honovaary magistrate 
of Benares; is active in the promotion of education of both sexes; and is 
secretary of a large native school in the city. The Babu is undoubtedly one of 
the chief promoters of progress and social reform in Benares. By reason of 
his liberal spirit and excellent knowledge of English, he gains ready access to 
the European residents, with whom, and also with his native fellow- townsmen, 
he is deservedly popular.. 




The Jijhotiya Brahmans. 

This sub-tribe of the Kanoujiya Brahmans is found in Bundelkhand, spread- 
mg out in a southerly and westerly direction. On the north and west, it comes 
in contact with the Eiuioujiya Brahmans Proper ; and on the north and east, 
with the Sarwaria Brahmans. Sir H. Elliot speaks of the tribe as follows : ^^ This 
is a branch of the Kanoujiya Brahmans, which ranks low in public estimation. 
Their more correct name is Yajurhota, derived originally, it is said, from their 
having made burnt-offerings according to the form of the Yajur. Veda. Their 
sub-divisions are much of the same character as those of the E^noujiyas ; but it 
is needless to enumerate them. Amongst their chief faimlies are reckoned the 
Chaubes of RApraund, the Dubes of Dauria, and the Misrs of Hamtrpiir and 
Karl&«" Dr. Buchanan affirms that in his day there were two thousand families 
of Jijhotiyas in the district of Gorakhpdr. 

This tribe needs to be properly investigated. I can hardly agree with Sir 
H. Elliot, that the enumeration of its sub-divisions would be without profit. 
The Jijhotiya Brahmans are little known in Benares \ there being, it is computed, 
not more than sixty or seventy persons of the tribe within the city. From them 
I have gained some information respecting themselves ; but it is very imperfect. 
They state that the word " Jijhotiya'^ is derived from Jujhdta, the name of a 
Baghel Raja who formerly lived in Bundelkhand. This man gathered about 
him a number of Brahmans, whom he greatly honoured, and whose instructions 
he devoutly followed. In return for their spiritual services he contributed 
i;KorAl1v towards their support. In course of time these Brahmans became a 



separate people, and were called after their patron. Some of the principal gotras 
and clans of the Jijhotiyas are as follows : — 

Gotras and Clans of the Jijhotiya Brahmans. 

Clan of the Upamanya Gotra, bearing the title of P&thakh : — Bora. 
Clan of the Upamanja Gotray bearing the title of B&jpei :^-Binw&re. 
Clan of the Kasjap Qotra, bearing the title of Paterija : — S&jpdr. 
Clan of the Kasjap G^tr% bearing the title of Pastora : — Bangawa. 
Clan of the Gautam Gk)tra, bearing the title of Chaube : — Bupnouwal. 
Clan of the Gautam Gotra, bearing the title of Gangele : — Maray. 
Clan of the Sandil G^tr% bearing the title of Misr : — Hamirpf^. 
Clan of the Sandil Gotra, bearing the title of Ajeriya : — Kotke. 
Clan of the Mounas Gotra, bearing the title of Misr : — ^Kariya. 
Clan of the Bharaddwaj Gotra, bearing the title of Tiwari :^Aijike. 
Clan of the Bh&raddw^j Gotra, bearing the title of Diibe :— Uth&shane. 
Clan of the Yatsa Grotra, bearing the title of Tiwari : — ^PathrailL 
Clan of the Ek&vashisth Gotra, bearing the title of Nayak : — Pipri. 

Some of the names in this list are peculiar. The Mounas gotra suggests 
a Rajpoot origin or connection. The honorary titled of Paterija, Pastora, 
Gangele, Ajeriyft, and Nayak, so far as I am aware, are not found in other races 
of Brahmans. 



The Sanadhiya Brahmans. 

This race of Kanoujija Brahmans is found immediately to the west of the 
Eanoujiyas Proper, and to the east of the Gaur Brahmans Proper ; in other 
words, lying between them. Sir Henry Elliot thus carefully describes their 
limits : " The Sanaudhas or San&dhs, as they are more familiarly called, touch 
the Ejinoujiyas on the north-west, extending over Central Rohilkhand, and part 
of the Upper and Central Doab, from Pilibhit to Gwalior. The boundary line 
runs from the north-west angle of R&mplk, through Richa, Jah&nab&d, Naw&b- 
ganj, Bareilly, Fanidpiir, to the RS^mganga; thence through Salimpiir and the 
borders of Mihrab&d ; thence down the Ganges to the borders of Eanouj ; thence 
up the Kd.linaddi to the western border of Alip^ Patti, through Bhoigaon, Soj, 
Etawa, Bibamau, and down the Jumna to the junction of the Chambal"(a). 
The districts of Agra, Mathurd., Etawah, Mainpiiri, Aligarh, Budaon, Farakha- 
bftd, and Pilibhit, are, in whole or in part, included within these limits. 

In his report on the castes of the Agra district, Mr. Sells, Officiating 
Deputy Collector, makes the following observations respecting the country of 
the SanS^dhs and of the Eanoujiyas Proper. This, he says, ^^may be roughly 
represented as a triangle, having for its western side a line drawn from Pillibheet, 
in Rohilcund, to the south-west of Muttra ; and for its eastern, a line from Pilli- 
bheet to the junction of the Jumna and Ganges at Allahabad; and for its base, 
the country bordering upon the Jumna and Chumbul rivers. Of this triangle, 
the western half forms the country of the Sunadhs; and the eastern, of the 

(a) Supplemental Gloflsary, Vol. I, p. 149. 



Canojeeas" (a). In the district of Agra, Mr. Sells adds, the SanS^dh Brahmans 
" prevail in great force," outnumbering apparently " the representatives of any of 
the other clans" (of Brahmans). He particularly mentions the pargannah 
of Pinahat, in all the villages of which, with hardly an exception, San&dhs 
occupy the position of landholders, cultivators, or village priests. 

The tradition respecting the origin of this tribe is, that, on the return of • 
Rkm from Ceylon, he wished to celebrate his victory over R&vana, the king of 
that island, whom he had killed, by the celebration of a jag, or great sacrifice. 
As R&vana was a Brahman, Kd.m found it difficult to induce many of the mem- 
bers of this caste to take part in the solemnity. The Sarwaria Brahmans declined 
to do so, and consequently incurred his displeasure. But the SanS^dhs were 
less particular, and performed the important ceremony; and thenceforward 
became separated from other Brahmans, and formed a distinct tribe. 

Another account is, that after the ceremony of the Horse Sacrifice, RS.m 
wished to make grants of lands to Brahmans, which were declined by the K&n- 
kubjiya Brahmans ; yet, inasmuch as religious offerings could only be made to 
Brahmans, and in order not to defeat the purpose of Rd,m, a man was chosen 
from each family, to whom a village was presented. Thus seven hundred and fifty 
villages in the province of Mathur& were given to the same number of Brahmans, 
each of whom assumed the name of his village as the designation of his clan, — 
e. g.j the DhfLria clan was in possession of the village of Dhiil, and the Pachoriya 
clan, of the village of Pachor. 

Saoidhs in the Mainpiiri district came, it is said, in two streams : the first 
in the time of the R&thor princes of Eanouj, whom they served as purohits^ or 
£amily priests ; the second only about four hundred years ago. These latter 
came from Sambhal. The SS^ndil, Gautam, Vasisht, and Bh&raddw&j Gotras 
are among those most prevalent in this quarter {U). 

Although it is unquestioned that the San&dhs are a Eanoujiya race, and 
therefore are properly placed among the sub- tribes of the great Kanoujiya family, 
nevertheless, it is a singular fact that many San&dhs, perhaps most, regard them- 
selves as belonging not to that stock at all, but to the Gaur tribe. The reason of 
this perhaps is their geographical proximity to, and consequent intercourse with, 
the Gaurs of Delhi and its neighbourhood. It shows, howevOT, that Brah- 
manical tribes, notwithstanding their excluaveness and thrir stringent adherence 

(a) General Report of the Census of the North- Western Froyinces for 1865, Vol. I, Appendix B, p. 65. 
(6) iJid, pp. 78,79. 


to hereditary customs and prejudices, may forget their antecedent history, and 
even depart from the traditions of the past. 

In the Etawah district, the Eanoujiya Brahmans Proper far out-number all 
other Brahmans. Still, in one sub-division,— namely the pargannah of Qreyah,— 
they give place to the San&dhs. In his report on the castes and tribes of that 
district, Mr. A. O. Hume, formerly Magistrate of Etawah, gives the following 
interesting historical account of the Oreyah San&dhs: "In the Oreyah pargan* 
nah^^^ he says, " the Sunoreeas or Sund^dhs predominate, and are represented chief- 
ly by Singeeas and Merhas, two well-known gots of that sub-family. There are 
a considerable number of Singeea Brahman zemindars, and these all date their 
origin from one Basdeo. According to them, their ancestor first settled 
at Suhbda, under the protection of the Senghurs, and then one of his sons went 
to Delhi, where he obtained service late in Shahab-ood-deen Ghoree's reign. 
Later, probably in Akbar's time, the family appears to have obtained a grant of 
land, and the titie of Chowdhree (which some of the family have ever since 
borne), when they took possession of Oreyah and its immediate neighbourhood ; 
and here, though greatiy reduced in circumstances, they to this day continue to 
hold many villages. They are probably in error in dating their advent so far 
back as 1200 A. D., but they are unquestionably one of the first of the Brah- 
man septs now existing that settled in the district. The Merhas profess to have 
been firom early times the family priests of the Senghur Raj of Bhurrey ; and 
Chowdhree Feetum Singh of Billawan, an influential zemindar, Babootee Singh 
of Chanderpore, and others still, with numerous younger branches, represent 
the family. In the Etawah pargannah, besides the gradual influx of Eunou- 
jiyas, two distinct immigrations of other Brahmans are noticeable as having to 
this day left numerous representatives. Very early in the fourteenth (f^ntury, 
when Alla-ood-deen took Runtampore, Chitorgurh, and other places, one Hur- 
reepunt, a famous pundit, made his way to Etawah. With him came Oogursen, 
Muthoorea, and others of that sub-division of the Sunoreas. Oogursen's two 
sons, Badho and Madho, rose to more or less importance ; and, at this present 
moment, their descendants of the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth generations, 
as well as the descendants of their father's companions, are to be found almost 
throughout the Etawah pargannah. It is noticeable that, about the time 
Oogursen settled her6, other Muthooreas settled at Jaloun, Jhansie, Gwalior, 
and Mynpoory, with the latter of whom chiefly our Muthooreas intermarry. 
Another, and far more important sept of Sunoriahs are the * Saburn ' Chow- 
dhiees of Manikpoie. Their ancestors, it is generally allowed, • accompanied 



Bajah Sumersa on his first settlement in the district; and from him obtained the 
title of Chowdhree and a grant of several villages. In later times they possess- 
ed, it is said, a chourasee (eighty-four) of villages. Many of these have passed 
away from them ; but the present heads of the family still retain a few of their 
old villages, with the title of Chowdhree, and still affect an importance to which, 
numerous as they are, their present fallen state certainly gives them little 
claim" (a). 

Of the original seven hundred and fifty clans of Sanddhiya Brahmans, fifty- 
one are regarded as of more influence and distinction than the rest. The gotras 
and titles of some of these are as follows : — 


€U>TiiAB Ain> Titles of Sanadhita Bbahmanb. 




















Bharaddw&j ... 



















» • • 1 









(a) General Report of the Cennis of the North-Westem Fh>Tincefl for 1865, YoL I Appendix^, pp. 86, 87. 


Goiras. Titles. 






The above list, together with other information, has been chiefly obtained 
from Pandit Raghun&th Pars&d, the late kotwal, or chief native executive 
officer, of Benares. From his acquaintance with the Sanskrit language and 
literature, he received from all classes the honorary designation of Pandit. As 
he is himself a San&dhiya Brahman, he is well qualified to speak with authority 
respecting his tribe. 






This is unquestionably a very ancient Brahmanical tribe, which inhabits 
still one of the earliest seats of Hinduism, a tract in the north-west of 
India beyond Delhi, once watered by the famous Saraswati river, which figures 
so constantly in Hindu annals and mythology. The stream is now dried up, 
but its site and extent can be traced. Its disappearance seems to have greatly 
excited the imagination of people in former times. Praydg, or Allahabad, is 
still spoken of by the natives generally as Tribeni^ or the confluence, not of two 
rivers, the Ganges and Jumna, which actually unite at that spot, but of three, 
the Ganges, Jumna, and Saraswati, the last not being visible, but in common 
belief flowing underground from its ancient bed to the point of conjunction. 
Saraswati is worshipped in India as the wife of Brahmd,, as goddess of speech, 
as the creator of the Sanskrit language and of the Devan^garl type of letters, 
and as patroness of music and art. On the subject of the drying up of the 
Saraswati, Mr. Campbell writes : " It is a curious problem, that lost river, the 
^raswatl. The evident river-traces all the way down to the Indus, ancient 
Hindu history, and the universal traditions of the people of those regions, go 
to make it as certain as any historical fact can be, that the Saraswati was once 
a fine river, and that the countries through which it flowed (now for the most 
part desert and barren) were once well-watered and green. No mere diminu- 
tion in the amount of rainfall, caused by denudations, or the like, could have 
occasioned such a change. The Saraswati is now not a stream at all, but an 


absolutely dry bed, which is only filled by surface flooding in the height of the 
rains" (a). 

In a remote epoch Brahmans clustered in villages and towns on the banks 
of the Saras watt, and cultivated the rich lands in its neighbourhood. Their 
posterity, heedless of the contempt cast upon agricultural pursuits by other 
Brahmanical tribes, have continued to the present time to follow their excellent 
example. " Where the low and comparatively moist tracts, in which the river 
once ran, still admit of cultivation, the Saraswati Brahmans are found very indus- 
trious and good cultivators, who claim to have occupied the country before Jats 
and Kajpoots became dominant. Sir John Malcolm also mentions the Marwarree 
or Saraswati Brahmans as forming a considerable proportion of the most indus- 
trious cultivators in Malwa. And following the Saraswati down to the Indus, 
we find that (some southern immigrants excepted) they are also the Brahmans of 
Scinde, but said to be much looked down on by more orthodox southerners, as 
eaters of meat, and altogether little advanced Brahmans. The Saraswati Brahmans 
were the earliest and most simple and pure Hindus of Vedic faith, that faith 
being now worked out and developed ; those of the Ganges and the rest of India 
are, in various phases, the types of modern Hinduism. The settlement on the 
banks of the Saraswati is a well-known stage of Hindu history. Here the 
Brahmans came in contact with other races ; castes were recognized, and early 
Hinduism became literary and historical. But the Extreme caste and religious 
system, the full-blown High-Hinduism of the Gangetic Brahmans, was not yet. 
The descendants of those who continued to dwell on the Saraswati seem to 
have much kept to the tenets of their forefathers. They are separate from 
the Kashmeerees, and have a place among the recognized divisions of Indian 
Brahmans ; but their more advanced brethren give them the lowest place in the 
orthodox scale, and in their native country they chiefly shine by those simple and 
agricultural virtues in which their remote ancestors also probably excelled" (J). 
These observations are, I have no doubt, for the most part just and true. But 
it is not by any means a settled question that the Saraswati Brahmans were 
either the earliest tribe of Brahmans to profess the Vedic form of religion, or 
that the Vedas originated with them. At the same time, there is good ground 
for believing that the Saraswatls are a Brahmanical tribe of very great antiquity, 
and that eastern tribes date from a much more recent epoch. Moreover, seeing 

(a) Campbell*s Ethnology of India, p. 62. . 

(b) Ibid, pp. 61, 63. 



that Hindus are Bingularly conservative in their habits, it seems a most probable 
supposition that the mode of life characterizing the modem Saraswati Brahmans 
was very much that followed by their ancestors. 

Saraswati Brahmans residing in Benares have furnished me with the 
following account of the divisions and sub-divisions of their tribe. They have 
four great divisions, as follows : PanjS.ti, Ashtbans, B&rahi, and Bawan or Bhun- 
jS^hl. The first, as its name denotes, has five sub-divisions ; but this five-fold 
sub-division occurs not once but twice. The word " Ashtbans" means eight races; 
and, consequently, the second division represents eight clans. B&rahi refers 
to the number twelve, and the division represents that number of clans. The 
fourth, or Bawan division, contains fifty-two clans. 

FnwT Division — ^Panjati (Jive clans.) 


First SecOan. 
















Second Section 











SsooND Division — ^Ashtbans (eight clans.) 

































rmRD Division — ^Bj 

LRAm (twelve 














































FouBTH Division — ^Bawan ob Bhunjahi (fifty-two elans). 

Of the clans of this sub-division I have succeeded in obtaining the names 
of only ten, without their gotras^ as follows : — 
























In addition to the four branches of the Saraswad Brahmans enumerated 
above, I understand that the undermentioned families are also branches of the 
same tribe. 

1. Ehatbansh. 

2. Dagare. 

3. Surdhwaj. 

The Saraswati Brahmans of the Bijnour district number about fifty families. 






It has been already stated that this tribe has given its name to the five 
Brahmanical tribes of Northern India, but that the Gtturs Proper are confined 
to two districts. One of these is Bengal, more particularly its central tract. 
The other may be described as follows ^ " It runs through the R&mpiir territory 
as far as the RUmganga; thence through Serauli, SeondS^ra, Nerauli, Bahjoi, 
RSjpiir&, Dubhai, and the western borders of Koel, Chandaus, Noh Jhil, and 
Eosi. The whole of the British territory to the westward of this line is in 
their occupation" (a). The Gaurs of Bengal have doubtless sprung, at some 
remote period of Indian history, from the Kanoujiya stock. The common 
belief of Hindus, that from Bengal they emigrated to the neighbourhood of 
Dehli, about the time of the P&ndus, is utterly incredible. It is much more 
likely that the Gaurs occupied the two tracts at a remote epoch, and continued 
their intercourse with each other during succeeding ages. But even this sup- 
position has its difficulties, and gives no clue to the origin of the tribe. More- 
over, there is reason to believe that most of the Gaur Brahmans now in Bengal 
have emigrated from the western division at a recent period, which circum- 
stance increases the intricacy of the entire subject. 

The traditions of the Gaur Taga Brahmans would, if well sifted, very pro- 
bably throw much light on the origin of the Gaur tribe. These Taga Brah- 
mans are found in considerable numbers throughout the northern part of the 

(a) Elliotts Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I, p. 149. 


Doab and Rofailkhand, and in the district of Delhi. With few exceptions they 
regard themselves as an offshoot of the Gaur Brahmans. They state that, on 
occasion of Raja Janamajayd. ordering a sacrifice for the destruction of serpents, 
the Gaur Brahmans officiated ; and when the sacrifice was over, some of the 
Brahmans returned to their homes, but that others, remaining behind in the 
country, became agriculturists. The name they bear, taga (properly tyS^gft, 
abandoned or relinquished), denotes their having thereby abandoned the posi- 
tion of high Brahmans, and, like the BhMnhSrs of the Kanoujiya tribe, adopted 
a calling not approved by the Shd^stras as an occupation fit for Brahmans. The 
tradition is referred to in the ''" Thus the Tagas became separat- 
ed from the Gaur stock. Now, as they commonly assert that they are descend- 
ants from the Gaurs of Hari^na, and as the Gaurs occupied that territory at a 
remote period, and continue to do so, it is by no means improbable that this may 
have been their original seat, from which they spread out into other parts. 

In a short paper on castes written by W. Forbes, Esquire, c.b., formerly 
Magistrate of Meerut, are some important observations on the Taga Gaurs, not 
only as to their present condition, but also as to their previous history. " The 
Tagas," he remarks, ^' next to the J&ts, are the predominating caste in the dis- 
trict. Their name is derived, it is said, from * t&g denft,' to ' give up ' ; but 
whether they gave up their religion, or were themselves given up as heretics by 
tiieir co-religionists, is not clearly ascertained. Various legends are current as 
to the manner of their metamorphosis from priests to agriculturists. One story 
has it, that Rajah Chamachche called the Brahmans together for a religious cere- 
mony, and in the customary present of pan each found the name of a village 
on a ticket hidden in the pan leaf. They thus became zemindars or landholders, 
and gave up begging for alms. They are in many respects a peculiar caste. 
It seems universally allowed that they are, of all the castes now existing 
as holders of land in this part of the country, the earliest settlers. This is the 
prevailing idea, although it seems strange to say so of a district which boasts 
the site of the old Brahmanical city of Hustinapoor. They are the people who 
were found in full possession of the Meerut district when the J§,ts and other 
offshoots of the Rajpoot caste swarmed across the Jumna river as colonists, to 
inhabit the land. Can it be possible that they are ancient Brahmans of the coun- 
try, excommunicated in the mass for evil deeds connected with the downfall and 
destruction of the legendary city of Hustinapoor?" (a). Under the supposition 

(a) General Report of the Census of the North- Western Frovinces for 1865, Vol. 1, Appendix B, p. 12. 


that the Tagas are a branch of the Gaurs, and that they separated from them 
in early Hindu times, this indirect testimony from the natives themselves, as ^ven 
by Mr. Forbes, to the great antiquity of the Gaurs, and to their early occupa- 
tion of this region of country, is exceedingly valuable. Mr. Forbes's conjecture, 
based on his knowledge of the traditions current in the neighbourhood, is strong 
in regard to the Tagas, but is stronger still in regard to the Gaurs, their acknow- 
ledged ancestors. 

At the end of the war in which Prithi Raj was destroyed by the Mahome- 
dans, the Tagas were taken into favour by the Mussalman emperor, who desired 
them to persecute the Chauh&n Rajpoots, of whom Prithi Raj was the head. 
Many of the Taga clan came to the district of Bijnftr, where they lived for long 
at enmity with the Chauh&ns. 

The following explanation of the origin of the Gaurs is given by Mr. George 
Campbell, in his recent work on the " Ethnology of India :" " The princi- 
pal tributary of the Saraswatl is the * Guggur ' or * Ghargar,' which now gives 
its name to the main channel where it passes through the Harriana district 
May not the name of ' Gour' borne by these Brahmans of Harriana be a mere 
abbreviation of * Guggur ' or ' Ghargar' ? May not the * Gour Brahmans be sim- 
ply Brahmans of the Guggur or Lower Saraswati?" (a). 

Respecting the location of the Gaur Brahmans in the North -West, Mr. 
Plowden, in his Report on the Census of 1865, states that one-half of them, or 
nearly so, are found in the districts of Muzaffamagar and Sah&ranpAr. There 
are also many, he says, in the districts of Mor&d&b&d and Mathur& (&). The 
Taga Brahmans, who, as already shown, are a branch of the Gaurs, are met with 
exclusively in the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Sah&ranpilr, Bijnilr, Meerut, and 
Mor&d§,b&d. The Gaurs, for a non-indigenous tribe, are very numerous in the 
city of Benares. 

The tribe has the following sub-divisions : — 

Sub-divisions of the Oaur TVibe. 

1. Ad-Gaur, or original Gaurs. 

2. Sri Gaur. 

8. The Taga Brahmans. 
4. Bhdrgava. 

(a) CampbelFs Ethnology of India, p. 64. 

(6) General Beport of the Censiu of the North- Western F^Tinces, 1865, Vol. I, Appendix B, p. 81. 



5. Madh-Sreni (Bengali Brahmans). 

6. Purbiya Gaur (Eastern Gaur Brahmans). 

7. Fachh&nde Gaur (Western Gaur Brahmans). 

8. Hiranya or HariyanewdJt. 

9. Chaurdsiya. 
10. Pushkarnl. 

{Brahmans of Ajmere and Jaipur.) 

11. Th&kurftyan. 

12. Bhojak. 

13. Kakariya. 

14. Desw&It Chhann&t. ^ From Mdlwft. 

1. Gujar Gaur. 

2. Parikh. 

3. Sikhwai. 

4. Dayma or Davich. 

5. KhandelwSl. 

6. Ojha or Gaur S&raswat 

15. Dase Gaur. 

Has six branches :- 

The following is a vety imperfect list of some of the clans of this tribe, 
together with their gotras and titles : — 



























Farasar. ^ 




























21 Bt 































Certain Brahmanical family names, such as Mukhuijee, Banerjee, Chaturjee, 
are extensively used, and widely known, in Bengal* The two former belong to 
the E&nkubjiya Tribe Proper, and the third to the Gaurs, although there are 
some families of this name which claim a connection with the E&nkubjiya tribe. 

The Gaur Brahmans are found in the Sahdranptir and Dehra Di^n districts. 
They are said to have come direct from the plains to the D6n. They maintain 
rigidly their purity of caste, and marry only with Brahmans from the plains. 






This tribe is found in TirhAt, and generally throughout the northern part of 
Behar. Some members of the tribe are met with in the districts of Benares, 
Jaunpiir, Mirzapiir, and Allahabad ; but, if there be any truth in the last Census 
Report, not at all in the large district of GorakhpAr, to the north-west, although 
lying contiguous to it. This last statistical statement, however, cannot be correct. 
A more careful inquiry would, I feel satisfied, reveal the existence of some 
families of Maithilas residing in this extensive tract. In some parts of the country, 
Ojha and Maithila Brahmans are considered to be one and the same. While it 
is quite true, on the one hand, that the Maithilas are commonly called Ojhas, it 
is not true, on the other, that all Ojhas are Maithilas. In Benares, for instance, 
the term Ojha is used to designate the person called in to exorcise evil spirits, to 
allay turbulent departed spirits, — who, it is supposed, work mischief in various 
^ays, — ^to destroy the power and influence of ghosts and goblins, and the like. 
He is sometimes a Brahman; but he may proceed likewise from any of the 
other castes. It is possible that there may be some connection between the 
Ojha, as thus employed, and the Maithila Brahmans ; and further investigation 
might perhaps show in what it consists. 

This tribe has four divisions : — 










The following is a list of some of the gotras prevailing in the tribe : — 

Gotras. Gotras. Gotras, 

Kasjap. Bharaddw&j. Par&sar. 

Kasjap. Katij&yaDa. ' Baijaghrapadya. 

Sandil. Grarg. Ghiutam. 

Yatsa. GargiyA. JamdagnL 

Like other Brahmanical tribes, the Maithilas consist of a large number of 
clans, many of which might easily be ascertained by any person living in Tirhiit. 
From those residing in Benares, I have been able to gather the names of only 
five. These are as follows : — 

Clans. Gotra. Title. 


Barhijam. Sandil. Qjha. 

Sakarl. Kasyap. Pathakh. 

Dadari. Savamiya. Miar. 

Nagwar. Vatsa. Th&kur. 

Malariya. Katiyayana. Chandhri. 

The Maithilas are very numerous in the district of Bh&galpiir, especially in 
the southern and western parts. In Behar also they are as influential as in their 
own proper country of Tirhiit (a). 


(a) Bachanan's Eastern Indiai YoL II, p. 115. 





These are Brahmans of Orissa, in which province they are found in 
considerable numbers. Compared with the Brahmans of the North- Western 
Provinces, they are very lax in their habits, and by no means adhere with such 
strictness to caste rules as many others of their order. The truth is, they have 
more common sense, and far less pride, than Brahmans of Benares, and of similar 
places, in which caste prejudice is very powerful, not to say, tyrannical. The 
Ooriya Brahmans not only engage in trade and agriculture, but also employ 
themselves in the lowly occupations of brickmaking and bricklajring (a). Yet 
they are not all equally sensible and free from prejudice. There are some who 
pretend to greater purity than the rest, meaning thereby greater strictness and 
rigidity. Hence, the Ooriya Brahmans might be classed under two great divi- 
sions, the strict and the lax ; but it will be better to divide them into three 
sections. They are known by two designations, Utkala and Uddro. 

Divisions of Utkala Brahmans. 

First Division (Superior Brahmans). 

Gotras Titles. 

Shambtkkar ... .. Otha. 

E&syap ... ... Tiwftri. 

Ghraiha Eaasik ••• ... Miar. 

(a) Campbell^i JSiihnology of India, p. 69. 








Gautam and M&dhgai 










•• • 



• • • 


Each of these gotras embraces one or more clans. None of these superior 
Brahmans engage in any manual labour. Some of them are addicted to study. 
Questions of difficulty occurring in the Courts of law, or elsewhere, respecting 
the law of inheritance, are referred to them for solution. Their exclusiveness 
renders them haughty and superstitious. 

Second Division (Inferior Brahmans). 









( ) 








( ) 


( ) 



•. . 





Sh&biith ... 

Sen&pati ... 

( Nekab ... 
( Mekab 



Sbauthrft ... 


Barft ... 

Paryhiri ... 
Kbiintea ... 
N&haka ••• 







••• 6 


• •• a 

... 10 

... 11 

••• 13 

... 14 

• • 16 

... 17 

... 18 

... 19 

... 20 

... 21 



Each of these gotras contains one or more clans. The Nek&b and Mek&b 
(Nos. 8 and 9) Brahmans are cooks by profession. The Pathts (No. 10) admin- 
ister oaths in Courts of law. The Panni, Shauthr&, and Pash-pdioke Brah- 
mans (Nos. 11 to 14) are pandits, doorkeepers (darwans), and gardeners. The 
Barft Brahmans perform labour in menial capacities. The same may be said of 
the Miidhtrath Brahmans ( No. 17 ). The DoythS, clans are called Bhlls, and 
are said to be descendants of Shabar. The GarS^-barii Brahmans (No. 21) are 
employed in temple service, in carrying water to be used in sacrifice. The 
N&hftka clans (No. 22) are a mixed race, the ofispring of a Brahman father and 
Cham&r (worker in leather) mother. 

Third Division (Srent/). 

Four classes of Brahmans found in Orissa are known by the cognomen of 
Sreny. These are severally Dakhin Sreny, J&jpAr Sreny, Pany&ry Sreny, and 
Utkal Sreny. Each of these has its gotras^ clans, and titular designations. 
The clans are numerous, but the gotras with their titles are as follows : — 

First Class (Dakhin Sreny). 


MMhgal ... 

Yashisht ... 













Second Class {JdjpAr Sreny). 



The same as in Dakhin Srenji widi the 
jiddition of Eapiladw^. 

The same as in Dakhin Sreny. 



Third Class (Panydry Sreny). 


The same as in Dakhin Srenj. 

















Fourth Class ( Utkal Sreny). 

The same as in Dakhin Sreny. 


The same as in Panj&ry Sreny, with the 
exception of Mahinthi. 




These are all great tribes of Brahmans belonging to one family, as already 
stated in the third chapter, where they are styled Dr&vira, or southern tribes, in 
contradistinction to those in the north, which have been described under the general 
designation of Gaur Brahmans. It will be remembered that these five Dr&vira 
tribes are the following, MahSx&shtra, Tailanga, Dr&vira, Eam&ta, and Gurjar, 
which are as distinct from one another as the five Gaur tribes. Moreover, 
they hold no social intercourse whatever with the northern tribes, and neither 
intermarry nor eat with them. In Benares there is a considerable number of 
Mah&rftshtra and Gurjar Brahmans, who having resided there from generation 
to generation, may fairly be regarded as permanent inhabitants of the city ; yet 
there is no intermingling between them and any of the northern tribes repre- 
sented in the city, and they continue as much distinct from them as though 
they were a different race of beings. 



Section /. 

The Mahratta Brahmans are a very distinguished race among the Brahmani- 
cal tribes of India. For quickness of intellect, for energy, practical power, and 
learning, they are unsurpassed. In Benares itself, which is famous for its pandits 



deeply read in Sanskrit literature, they are highly respected for their intelligence 
and knowledge. As a people, they seem to possess, wherever they are found, 
those great mental gifts which formerly made the Mahrattas so formidable. 
Their proper country, says Mr. Campbell, extends " from Damaun to the neigh- 
bourhood of Goa, and from Bombay to Nagpore and the Wynganga." His 
remarks on the characteristics of this tribe are graphic and interesting. " The 
Maratta Brahmins," he remarks, " are the most famous and successful of their 
race. That their fortune is due to their talent and energy is shown by their 
success beyond their own bounds, in fact throughout southern and central India. 
But in their own country, and among their own people, they are also favoured by 
circumstances. The lower caste men of the pen, who have ousted the Brah- 
mins in some countries of the north, and more than rivalled them in others, are 
not found in the Maratta social system. The mass of th6 Maratta people are of 
a comparatively humble class, without the pride and jealousy of Brahmins shown 
by Rajpoots and Jats. Hence, wherever there is a Maratta people or Maratta 
rule, Maratta Brahmins are the brains and directing power. At first they con- 
tented themselves with the highest administrative offices under Maratta rulers ; 
but later, as is well known, the Peshwa and other Brahmins usurped the supreme 
power itself, assumed the supreme command of armies, and openly ruled the 
confederacy. In truth, so miscellaneous, and so loosely held together by any 
other tie, were Maratta confederacies and armies, that these Brahmins may be 
considered to be the real source of the power and fame of the Marattas as rulers 
in India. They were the heads of a body, of which others were but the 
hands guided by them. Even in the present day, in many states and places 
beyond their own limits, they have the chief power. 

" In fact, perhaps no race, certainly no Indian race, has ever shown greater 
administrative talent and acuteness. The native country of the Maratta Brahmins 
is chiefly to the west, and especially the Concan, south of Bombay, the hiUy strip 
near the western coast. It might be conjectured, that centuries of Mahonunedan 
rule might have caused the retreat of the Brahmins from the more open plains to 
these regions ; but I do not know that there is historical ground for this supposi- 
tion, and think it more likely that under any rule they would hold their own, and 
circumvent even foreign rulers. Their personal appearance would lead one to 
suppose that they came from the north-west. Many of them are very fair, 
and I think that there is among them a much greater tendency to the common 
occurrence of a somewhat aquiline, or what I call sub-aquiline, type of feature 
than among Hindustani Brahmins. A very marked feature, not commonly 


met with, seems to be a light greyish kind of eye. Altogether, I cannot sup- 
pose these Brahmins to be a branch of the race which, after occupying Hindustan, 
extended southwards. I cannot imagine how they could, in the south, as it 
were, in some degree, have returned towards an earlier type, instead of step 
by step becoming darker and more Indian-like. It is undoubtedly the case, and 
is a subject of common remark, that all along the west coast of India, the 
people are much fairer than in the interior, even though most of the interior 
country above the Ghats is considerably elevated. Some have accounted for 
this by saying that colour does not altogether depend on the thermometer ; that 
the inhabitants of the more umbrageous coast are less exposed to an unclouded 
sun and dry atmosphere than the people of the bare and treeless plains of the 
Deccan ; and that thus the difference of colour is to be accounted for. I will 
not say that this cause is wholly without effect; but I think it quite insuffi- 
cient to account for the whole difference. The Bengalees, in a moist atmosphere, 
and amid a luxuriant vegetation, are generally dark. The blackest of the 
aboriginal tribes live in the densest forest country in a moist malarious climate. 
Even on this very western coast I find the aboriginal helots of Malabar 
described as being * of the deepest black' (a)." 

The general conclusion at which Mr. Campbell arrives is, that the Mahrattas 
of the western coast are neither indigenous to the soil, nor in any degree what- 
ever, however slight, tainted with aboriginal blood, but that they have come by 
sea from other countries. This subject will be again referred to presently in the 
section on the Konkanasth branch of the Mahratta Brahmans. The cir- 
cumstance of the fair skin of the Mahratta Brahmans, as compared with other 
inhabitants of the same regions, is interesting, but by no means peculiar. 
Throughout India, Brahmans have always a much lighter complexion than other 
Hindus, and, in addition, a physiognomy, and bearing, not exhibited by members 
of other castes. In the North- Western Provinces, the Brahman is quite as fair, 
and exhibits quite as strongly the physical characteristics of his race, as the Mah- 
ratta Brahmans of the Konkan. He is occasionally as fair as the lightest Eurasian 
half-caste, and in his face the red blush is seen to come and go as in that of 
the Englishman. That physiological differences exist, to some extent, among 
Brahmans, is undoubted; but the^ striking Brahmanical type exists in all. 
There is really not so much difference between a Hindustani and a Mahratta 
Brahman as between a Hindustani and a Bengali Brahman. The remarks of 

(a) Campbell*8 Ethnology of India, pp. 70, 71. 



Mr. Campbell would go to prove, if they mean anything, an almost tribal dis- 
tinction between the Mahratta and all other Brahmans, consisting in a far greater 
purity of Brahmanical blood and freedom from intermixture with other races. 
I suspect that these race distinctions among the Brahmans are in the main of a 
provincial character, and to be accounted for on geographical grounds rather 
than ethnological, for it is well known that Brahmans everywhere have been 
exceedingly careful in the preservation of their caste. Moreover, inasmuch as 
the great Brahmanical tribes have kept apart from one another, and have been 
little addicted to intermarriages, it is only natural that, in the lapse of ages, 
certain physical distinctions of a definite and noticeable kind should spring up 
between them. 

The Mahratta Brahmans are divided into a large number of gotras, or 
generic classes, each of which has its body of separate clans with their distinc- 
tive honorary titles. The following is a list of some of the principal gotras^ 
drawn up by a Mahratta pandit of Benares. 

Gotras of Mahdr&shtra Brahmans, 










































There are fourteen great divisions or sub-tribes of Mahratta Brahmans. 

Principal Divisions of Mahratta Brahmans. 

1 . Earhftde. 

2. Konkanasth or ChitpS^wan. 

3. Deshaath. 

4. Yajurvedi. 

5. Abhir. 

6. Maitrayana. 

7. Charak. 

8. Nfirmadl. 

9. Mfilwi. 

10. Deoruke. 

11. E&nnau. 

12. Eirvant. 

13. Savashe. 

14. trigul. 

I am unable to furnish a separate account of each of these divisions, 
although it is likely they are all represented in Benares. An elaborate printed 
account of the Earh^e Division is in my possession. In addition, I have 
received from Siv& Govinda, a teacher in the Anglo-Sanskrit department 
of Queen's College, Benares, and a Brahman from Eonkan, an extensive list of 
clans of the Eonkanasth branch of Mahratta Brahmans. It is one of the most 
complete lists of Brahmanical families that I have been able to obtain ; and yet, 
it will be seen, that only a small number of gotras is described. The truth is, 
that every sub-division of the Brahmanical tribes has ordinarily quite as many, 
and, in some cases, more clans than those here given. I shall not shorten the 
list, but shall furnish it in full, as a specimen of the wonderful ramification of 
the Brahmanical race. 

Section 11. — TTie Karhdde Branch of Mahratta Brahmans. 

As I am giving the names of many clans of gotras of the Eonkanasth 
Brahmans, it were wearisome to the reader to peruse a somewhat similar list of 
the Earh&de branch of the same tribe. I shall content myself therefore with 



Stating the n^mes of all the gotras of this branclii, and with the 9iQpi{)Je mention 
of the number of clans which ^ach coatains. 

Kasyap Gotra 
Atri Gotra 
Bharaddwaj Gotra... 
Jamadagni Gotra ... 
Vasisht Gotra 
Kausik Gotra 
Naidhrava Gotra ... 
Gautam Gotra 
Gargya Gotra 
Mudgal Gotra 
Vainya Gotra 
Sandilya Gotra 
Kulsa Gotra 
Vatsa Gotra 
Bhargau Gotra 
Parthiva Gotra 
Yiswamitra Gotra ... 
Vadr&janal Gotra ... 
Ejiundinya Gotra ... 
Upn^Dyu Gotra. ... 
^JQgiraa Gotra 
Lohitaksb Gotr^, ... 



eighty-two dans, 
seveaty-five dans. 
seYenty-seven clans, 
seventy-five clans. 
ei^h<7 clana. 
forty-seven clans, 
twenty-four clans, 
flfheen clans, 
sixteen olans. 
eight clans, 
six clans, 
i^z clans, 
three clans, 
two dans, 
two. elans, 
two. olans. 
one clan (Kale), 
one clan (Bharbhare). 
one clan (Ringe). 
one clan (Tike). 

one daji (Dl^ap^anftiMr). 
one cla|i.(G^he). 

Section HL — TJi^ Kqnhiinasth l^cJwnan^i or Bn^hmam qfKonhank 

These Brahmans inhabit thQ thin band of country oijl th^ western. QQast of 
IndijA, known as Konkap. They have been already somewhat d^scribecj in. t^er 
introductory account of the Mah4r§,sljtra Brahmans* The chief questiQU ^hfit\ 
remained was as, to their origin. Properly, this, is not the place to inyestigatj? % 
[^ubject of such a nature, as it is not the intention of this work to enquire ^t aJi 
into the origin of the Brahmanical race. That is a distinct subject,, requiring f«r 
its due consideration an amount of philological and ethnological knowledge which 
few possess, and perhaps which no man has yet adequately acquired. Much light, 
however, ha3 been of la^te yeaps tjirownv upoiji it by the laboiura of men like 
Professor Max Miiller, Dr. Hang, Dr. John Muir, and others. Although by their 
4^»idui1y the intric^vte thread of the primitive condition, of India is^ being gradually 
uni;ay,el}gd, yet it still remains very tangled and^ knotty, though, not so hopelessly 
ag fftn^erly* The object o£ thia dissertation on. Indian tribes and ivtoes^ moi% 

THfi! filEtA&MAKtCAti TRl6^S. !B^ 

BfipeciaUj tm thos6 represented in the ttity ahd J)ilt)vittce of Benaires, is practical^ 
not speculative, a^d is iiihiefly confined to a statement of things as they are. 

Cotlje(^ture0 unsubstantiated are always open to suspicion, yet sometimes a 
bAppj hit is made. I hardly think that the conjectures of Mt. Campbell 
respectin]^ the origin of the Konkanasth Bi-ahmans can be so regarded ; nevetthelesii 
they are interlBsting, suggestive, and Worthy of tecord, and may probabl;^ con- 
tain a knodicum of truth, ttis argubaentative statemiBnt is this : " All aloug 
^ae southern portion of the west coast, a large part of the population is notori- 
ously to a great degree of fbteign blood. The Moplahs are, to a great extent, 
Arabs ; the * Teerfi ' or * Teertneb,' are also said to be immigrants (as theil^ very 
name indicates) ; aud there are Uiany Jews and Christians, though the latter I 
believe have not much trace of Western blood. All along the Bombay boast 
Also from 6oa to Eurtafehee, are the descendants of Persian, Arab, Portuguese, 
and other Western imtnigrauts. Hence I did not think it by any means absurd 
when an educated Bramin of Poonah suggested to me as a theory, that the 
B^amins owed the light eyes and light (Complexion noticed amotlg them to an 
int^mixture of Western blood. The Bramins would be less liable, however, to 
casual and recent intermilLture than other races ; and I incline rather to the 
theory^ that these Bramins of this part of the coast may have more directly 
come from the original seats of the race by the route of the SarasWatee and the 
Indus, and thence perhaps by sea, without passing through Hindustan and 
Central India, and there suffering any infiltration of aboriginal blood. Is it 
not probable enough that in very early days, when they were pressed by Raj- 
poots and Jats, they may have colonized the Konkan, reduced to subjection the 
rude aborigines, and transmitted to descendants features preserved from great 
deterioration by caste rules, and forms only somewhat deteriorated in size and 
robustness by a Southern climate and the absence of manual labour? If such 
an immigration took place so early as I suppose, it might well happen that, in 
long contact with Southern elements and Southern creeds, the colonists in the 
Maratta country would separate themselves from the old Saraswatee Bramins, 
and become a separate division" (a). 

Where all is speculation and theory, it is sufficient to reply to this argu- 
ment, that it is certainly quite as likely a supposition that the Saraswatee Brah- 
mans, if they migrated to the Konkan at all, went by land as by sea, especially as 
caste difficulties alone have, throughout their entire history, proved an invincible 

(aj GampbelI*B IJtlinology of India, pp. 71, 73. 



barrier to Brahmans taking a voyage, even for a few days, on the sea. Yet 
supposing they went by this route, I fail to see why on arriving in Konkan they 
should be imagined to have suffered less from ^ any infiltration of aboriginal 
blood' than Hindustanee Brahmans, proceeding from the same spot to the 
countries in the north-east, to which they came, and in which they settled. 

The remarks of Mr. Campbell, on the present condition and habits of the 
Eonkanasth Brahmins, are valuable. ^'In the Maratta Concan the Bramins 
are at the head of the agricultural community. Most of the ^ Kotes\oT village 
zemindars, who rule over and claim the proprietary right in each village, are 
of this caste. I have not been able to ascertain what proportion of the actual 
cultivators are of the same class. For the rest, oflSce of every kind, including 
the village and Pergunnah accountantships all over the country, and every 
service of the head and the pen, seem to be their great resources. They are not 
military, nor generally in any way men of the sword; though they have, in 
their prosperity, taken the command of Maratta armies. Nor do they seem 
to have any great commercial proclivities. Among the various races who 
push to so great a point mercantile enterprise in Bombay, I cannot find that 
the Bramins have any great share. Under our Government, they have almost 
a monopoly of office in Western India. In the towns of the North Canarese 
coast, the Hindu traders are said to be chiefly ^Konkanee Bramins who trade 
and keep shops'" {a). 

Gotras and Clans of the Konkanasth Brahmans. 

Gotras of Kasyap Rishi and his Descendants. Gotras of S&ndil Rishi and his Descendants. 

Easyap. Saadil. 

I I 

Avatsara. Asita. 

I I 

Naidhruva. Daivala. 

Clans connected with these Gotras. 








Clans connected with these Gotras. 








(a) Campbell's Ethnology of India, p. 73. 



Clans connected with these Gotrtzs. 

Clans connected with these Crotras. 




























































descended from S^dil Bishi, in opite of the circumstance of their haying diflferent 

Gotras of 





Bithi, and hit Detcendantt. 






Clans connected tvith these Gotras. 

Clans connected with these Gotras. 











The clans mentioned in the one column do not intermarry with those given 
in the other, because they have a common ancestor. 

Gotras of Atreya Rishi^ and his Descendants, 



Clans descended from these Gotras. 











These clans can intermarry with any of the clans of the gotras previously 




Ga«M> of BktttgmMk AMh ami kU Dtseendantt. 






€lan9^dBe0endedfrom Ae$e Gotras. 

Clam dktcendedfrom these Gbimt. 









These two sets of clans do not intermarry, because they are dbscended from 
a common ancestor. 

Qotroi of Angvras Bukiy and his Descendants, 








Clans sprung from these Ootras. 

Clans sprung Jrom thesi 

































M&ideya. . 





Clans sprung from these Ooiras, Clans sprung from these Gotras. Clans sprung f^om these Ootras, 

Akhache* Sat&ra, Limaye. 

Bahalakara. Vaidja. 

E&ralekara. Vedekara. 







The clans of these three columns cannot intermarry, because they are 
descended from a common ancestor. 

Gotrcu of Vasisht Sishif and his Descendants. 








Clans descended from these Gotras. 

Clans descended from these Gotras. 






































The families enumerated in these two columns do not intermarry, as they are 
descended from Yasisht, a common ancestor. 

Gotrcu of Visw&mitra Rishi^ and his Descendants. 





Clans descended from these Gotras, 

Balha. * 


Clans descended from these Gotras, 






















The clans mentioned in these two columns do not intermarry, as they are 
descended from YiswUmitra, a conmion ancestor. 




One of the most learned and accomplished natives of Benares, is the Pandit 
whose name is given above. He is a Brahman of the Konkanasth Branch of 
the MahS^rashtra tribe. Bapu Deo SS^stri has greatly distinguished himself as 
a scholar, and has, by his works, shed a lustre both on the Sanskrit college, in 
which for many years he has been a professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, 
and on the city in which he lives. The titles of some of his numerous books 
are as follows : on Trigonometry, in Sanskrit ; Translation of the Surya Sid- 
dh&nta into English; on Algebra, in Hindi, for which he received from the 
Government of the North- Western Provinces a present of one thousand rupees, 
and a valuable shawl; on Geography, in Hindi; on Arithmetic, in Sanskrit; 
Symbolical Euclid, in Sanskrit. This list is suflScient to show the versatility of 
the S&stri's mind, as well as the importance of his labours in the cause of edu- 

In consideration of his great services rendered to science and education in 
India, the S&strl has been made an Honorary Member of the Royal Asiatic 
Society of Great Britain, and also of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. He is a 
Fellow of the Calcutta University. In addition, the Government has taken 
public notice of his labours on several occasions. A modest and retiring man, 
free from the pride so frequently found in his order, of great energy and perse- 
verance, of patience in research, and of liberal and advanced sentiments in 
regard to the religious and social problems in process of solution in India, Bapu 
Deo S&strl is not merely an intellectual leader of the educated classes of 
Benares, but also presents in himself an excellent illustration of the good 
results of European learning. 





This great tribe of Brahmans inhabits those tracts of country in which the 
Telugu language is spoken, extending from the Northern Circars through Viza- 
gapatam, RSjmandrj, Gantftr, Masulipitam, Cuddapah, Nellore, to Bellarj, and 
spreading over the eastern division of Hyderabad. The number of persons 
speaking Telugu is computed to be about fourteen millions. 

The Tailanga Brahmans have a great many gotras^ or orders, among them ; 
but their chief divisions are limited to eight, as follows : — 

Dimsions of Tailanga Brahmans. 

1. Tilagh&niyam. 

2. Vellan&tl. 
8. Vegin&tl. 

4. MurkinS^ti. 

5. E&saln&ti. 

6. Earankamma. 

7. Niogl. 

8. Prathama-Sh&khi. 

These dght divisions of the Tailanga Brahmans neither intermarry nor eat 
together. They all observe the ceremonies either of the Big Veda or Tajur 


Veda. The Earankamma Brahmans follow the ritual of the Rig Veda exclu- 
sively. These various divisions are not distributed geographically, as they may 
all be found in one and the same city or district. They are scattered over the 
Northern Circars in considerable numbers. 

It is roughly calculated that there are about two hundred and fifty Tailang 
Brahmans in Benares, who are representatives of the first four divisions in the 
above list, and of the seventh, or Niogl. Yet it is possible that one or two 
members even of the remaining divisions may be there also. 

I am indebted to B&pu Sslstri, a Tailang Brahman of Benares, for the 
above information. 





The third great tribe of the Dr&vira family of Brahmans receives the desig- 
nation applied to the entire race. Its proper geographical position is at the 
southern extremity of India, embracing Chingleput, Madras, Pondicheny, Tri- 
cbinopoly, Arcot, Tanjore, Tinnevelly, Travancore, Eumbakonam, Madura, and 
the country indusive. 

Some of its principal divisions are as follows : — 

Divisions of Drdvira Brahmans. 

1. Warma. 

1. Chola-Des. 

2. Wara-Des. 

2. Bruhat-Charana. 

3. Asht-sahasra. 

4. Sanket. 

5. Arama. 

6. Tannaiyar. 

7. Tannamuftyar. 

8. NambArl. ^ 

(In Cochin, Travancore, as far as Calicut.) 

9. Konshiin. 
10. Munitrya. 


The first six speak the Tamil language ; the last, or NambArt Brahmans, the 
Maliy&lim. None of these divisions intermarry, or hold social intercourse with 
one another. The Dr&viras observe the ceremonies enjoined in the Rig Veda, 
Yajur Veda, and S&m Veda. 

There are very few, perhaps not more than one hundred, Dr&vira Brahmans 
resident in Benares ; yet Dr&vira pilgrims from Southern India are constantly 
coming to the sacred city for religious purposes. At the moment of my writing, 
a Ranee is there who has journeyed all the way from Calicut. The Dr&vira 
Brahmans of Benares, although few, seem to be representatives of all the 
seven divisions given above. It is computed that in Southern India there are 
twelve millions of Hindus that speak Tamil, and six millions that speak Maliy&lim. 

The above information was given me by B&pti S&stii, a Tailang Brahman 
of Benares. 





These are Brahmans of the Carnatic in Southern India. The other four 
great Dr^vira tribes hold little intercourse with them. They never intermarry 
with them, and will eat only rice in their company. In their own country the 
Karn^ta Brahmans do not seem to be regarded with that intense religious vene- 
ration and awe in which Brahmans are held in Northern India. Mr. Campbell 
says, that *a very large proportion of the Canarese people are of the ultra- Sivite 
Linayet sect, who altogether ignore Brahmans in their sacerdotal character' (a). 
Many Eitmllta Brahmans are employed in the public oflSces, and in writing 
public accounts ; and in the hilly parts of the country a large number are culti- 
vators of the soil. This latter circumstance alone shows the social inferiority 
of this tribe to Northern Brahmans, who despise and rigidly avoid agricultural 
pursuits. It is, however, greatly to their credit that they are less scrupulous on 
this question. 

In Benares there are about one hundred and fifty Eam&ta Brahmans. 
These are, for the most part, engaged in literary pursuits, and reside chiefly in a 
math or monastic institution at Hanum&n Gh§,t, in the city. Some of them, 
together with many other Brahmans, are supported by the Maharaja Scindia of 
Gwalior. Wilson, in his Glossary, remarks that the tribe is divided into two 
great branches, — 1, Badgaln&d, 2, Slln&d. Bapu S&strl, the Tailang Brahman 
of Benares, who has given me valuable information respecting the Tailang and 

(a) Ethnology of India, p. 74. 



Drftvira tribes, has fiimished me with the following classification of the Karn&ta 

Divisions of Karndta Brahmans. 

1. Haiga. 

2. Kwata. 

3. Shlvelrl. 

4. Bargtn^ra. 

5. KandS^wa. 
To which should be added, 

6. Karnata Proper. 

7. MaisAr-Kamatak (Brahmans of Mysore). 

8. Sirnad. 

The Karn&ta Brahmans follow the instructions of the Eig Veda and Yajur 
Veda. About six millions of persons speak the Canarese language. Some of 
the principal clans of the KarnS^ta Brahmans are as follows : 

List of Seventeen Principal Families or Clans. 








» ... 



Biangalur ... 


. . ( 

> ... 



Sriilgeii ... 

Murkinaru ... 


1 ... 




Bjalanaru ... 











Hosurub&galora ., 

Murkinara ... 













. • 1 





Deshastha ... 

• • 






• •• 




Sjamraj-nagaram .. 


• • 

> ... 








> • . • 


. • 

• ... 




. .. • 

Murkin&ra ... 

.. * 





• • • 1 

Murkinaru ... 


» •• . 




1 • • • 1 


. . 

. ••• 


This list has been supplied to me by Baijn&th Sfi»strl, a member of the tribe 
residing in Benares. 

That there should be a marked diflFerence in the names of these clans as 
compared with Brahman clans in Northern India, is matter for no surprise, 


inasmuch as, most clans, whether in the north or the south, derive their names 
from villages, towns, and other localities. But the names of Brahnianical titles 
are, for the most part, the same over the greater portion of India. Yet the titles 
designating the various ranks of the Earn&ta Brahmans are, in almost every 
instance, of a peculiar and apparently of a special character and significance- 
The only one that I can trace elsewhere is that of Deshastha, a title also found 
among Mahratta Brahman^. There is, however, no difference whatever in 
the names of the ffotras. 

Mr. Campbell has gathered the following information respecting the Brah- 
mans of the Canarese country. ^^ In the north-western part of the Canarese 
country," he remarks, "in the district of North Canara, in the high and hilly 
country above and about the ghats^ and the adjoining parts of Mysore, there is 
a large population of Brahman cultivators, who are, on all hands, represented as 
exceedingly industrious, thriving, and in every way good. Most of these people 
are called Haiga Brahmans ; and they seem to be of pure race, and of no bastard 
or doubtful caste. They especially^ affect the cultivation of the betel-nut, and 
both own and cultivate the land over a large extent of country. In the Canara 
district they constitute one of the most numerous castes. In the Nagar district 
of Mysore they are also very numerous, and they are there described as * very 
fair, with large eyes and aquiline noses,' a description which would seem to 
imply for them a derivation from an uncorrupted and little intermixed northern 
source. They are stated not to be very literary, or highly educated, being more 
idevoted to agriculture" (a). 

Moreover, he says, "in South Canara, and what is called the Talava country, 
there are again many Brahmans who do much cultivation ; and on the whole 
West Coast, down to the extreme South of India, the country is said to have 
been extensively colonized by the Brahman colony led from Ealpi by Parasr&m, 
who caused the sea to retire for their convenience. In the centre of this tract, 
in Malabar, the Brahmans, owing to political circumstances and hostile rule, 
have been, to a great extent, driven away ; but they are very numerous in Tra- 
vancore and Cochin ; and in the Palghaut valley the Brahmans seem to be very 
numerous as cultivators, and are industrious and good in that capacity. The 
principal class of Brahmans on the South Coast are called Namberees ; and they 
have some very peculiar customs. They affect, however, much of the sacer- 
dotal character, and seem to be very influential in Travancore and Cochin" {b). 

(a) Mr. CumpbeirB Ethnology of India, p. 74. 
{h) Ibid, pp. 74, 76. 





Section I. 

This race of Brahmans comes originally from Gujer&t. Mr. Gteorge Camp- 
bell says that tliey trace their descent from Edsyap (a). Doubtless, this is true 
of some, perhaps of many, but not of the whole. In Benares the Gujer&tt 
Brahmans profess to be descended from eight Rishis, of whom E&syap is one. 

These Brahmans are divided into eighty-four branches, all which, or nearly 
so, are represented in Benares. They have the reputation, in the North- Western 
Provinces, of being largely devoted to the study of Sanskrit literature ; yet, 
in their own country, many are employed in trade, and in the public service^ 
By reason of certain social peculiarities, they hold but little intercourse with the 
other great Dr&vira tribes, which, although they do not intermarry, yet can eat 
together; but all, for the most part, keep aloof from the Gujer&tls. 

The accounts given by the Gujerfi^tt Brahmans on this point differ consider- 
ably. Some state that no intercourse of a social, character subsists between 
themselves and other tribes, while others will not admit this position, but say 
that, to some extent, there is intercourse between them and other tribes, that i^ 
that certain Gurjar clans can eat with some members of the other Dr&vira tribes. 
It is manifest, however, that, if this be , really the case, it is occasional and 

The eighty-four sub-tribes or divisions of Gurjar Brahmans keep separate 

.  • .  .' > . ■• •. 

(a) Campbeirs EUmologj of I&difl^ |>» 70. . 



from one another, on the subject of marriage, yet some of them will eat together. 
These sub-tribes or branches are as follows. 

Section 11.^ 

-'Eighty-four Branches of G 




Sahasr Udichja. 






Shihora Udichya. 






Tolikiya Udichya. 








































































































Tilok Kanoujiyft. 



















































Respecting the Gujerittl Brahmans of Central India, Malcolm says that they 
" are very numerous." Some of them, he adds, " are employed in the offices 
of religion, while others trade, and gain a respectable livelihood as writers and 
accountants. Many of the Marwar or Joudhpftr Brahmans are also traders ; but 
the great mass from that country, as well as from Udaipiir, are labourers and 
cultivators, forming indeed a very considerable proportion of the most industri- 
ous husbandmen of Central India" (a). 

(a) 8b John MalcoWs Memoir of Central India, Vol. IL, p. 122. 



Section III. 

The Gujer&tl Brahmans of Benares number, I am told, several thousand 

individuals,, belonging to five hundred families. Many of them are of the 

Udlchya branches and came from SltpAr-p&tan, in the Bombay presidency. 
Their clans are as follows : — 

Oujerdtl Brahmans of Benares from SttpAr-Patan^ of the Udichya branches. 











Mudgal ... 

, R&wal. 


Vatsya ... 



Grautam ... 



Ditto ... 






Ditto ... 















Yashista • 






Gautam ... 



Kasjap ... 


A large proportion of the Gujer&tt Brahmans of Benares are well off. They 
reside mostly in the neighbourhood of R&m Ghftt and Durg& Ghitt of the city. 
Not a few are teachers of the Vedas, Vyakaran, Nyftya, Purtnd,, and other 
Hindu systems and books, as well as expounders of the ceremonies of Hinduism. 

Section IV. — The Ndgar Brahmans. 

The Ndgars are an important, though not numerous, sub -tribe of Gujerfttl 
Brahmans in Benares. The head of them is an influential and respectable 
man, named Beni Lid, who is possessed of considerable wealth. His family, he 
states, came -first to Benares on pilgrimage upwards of one hundred years ago, 
and then settled there. He affirms that the Ndgars are divided into two distinct 
classes, which seldom intermarry, as follows : — 

1. Bhikhshu. 

2. Mehta. 

The Bhikhshu Nd.gars have maintained the strictness of their Brahmanieal 
training and associations, which the Mehtas have not done. They have conse- 
quently retained amongst them most of the Brahmanieal titles in vogue in 
Northern India, such as, Tiw&ri, Dflibe, Up&dhiya, and so on, which the Mehtas 
have entirely discarded. The cause of this distinction between the two branches 


of the clan is curious. Babu Beni Lk\ states, that, originally, before the Maho- 
medan conquest of India, the Nd.gars inhabited the city of Bamagar (Yar&ha- 
nagar), near Mount Abu. After several attacks on the city by Mahomed of 
Ghaznt, a portion of the Ndgars determined to aid in opposing him. Since that 
time they have continued separate from the non-combatant N&gars, the latter 
engaging in the strict observance of Brahmanical rites, the former devoting 
themselves to fighting, trade, and other occupations, and so becoming very lax 
in their Brahmanical usages. The Bhikhshus, as the name indicates, mostly 
subsist on charity, while the Mehtas work for their own livelihood. The Mehtas, 
moreover, are spoken of as writers, and apparently hold the position of the 
Eayasth, or Writer caste, in Northern India. 

The N&gar Brahmans are landholders in the district of Bulandshahr, 
where they are famous for their knowledge of medicines and charms. They are 
also found in Farakhab&d and other places of the North- Western Provinces. 
The Gujer&tt Brahmans generally have small branches in many parts of these 
provinces. In the Bijnto district they number some fifty families. 




In addition to the ten great tribes of Brahmans, five Gaur, or northern, and 
five DrS^yira, or southern, of each of which a brief account has now been given, 
there are several tribes, which, although regarded as Brahmanical, yet have never 
been included within the ten-fold division of the race. Some of these are found 
in Northern India, and others in Southern India. 

Section I. — The Sdkadwlpl or Magadha Brahmans. 

The original country of this tribe of Brahmans is the ancient kingdom of 
Magadha. As this tract is always regarded by Hindus as particularly impure, 
so that in their view whoever dies there becomes in the next birth an ass, it is 
very probable that the indigenous Brahmans of that territory are, on this 
account, considered unworthy to be ranked with other Brahmanical tribes. The 
Sslkadwipts are found in considerable numbers in their primitive seat, yet many 
families have migrated to other parts of the country. They do not, however, 
form alliances with other Brahmans, though they freely intermarry amongst 
themselves. Their test applied to a stranger pretending to be a S&kadwipt, is 
to offer him what is called jhuthd panl^ or water from a vessel from which 
another person has drunk ; a custom prohibited by all strict sects of Hindus. 
Should the stranger not be a Sftkadwipi, he will refuse the water, probably with 
some indignation, as, by drinking it, his caste, whatever it was, would be broken. 
If a S&kadwlpl, however, he will take it readily. 



Although this tribe, like all others, is loth to depreciate itself, yet it is un- 
questionably of lower rank than the ten tribes. In the district of Behar, many 
belong to the sect of R&manand. Some of the Rajas of Oudh are of this race* 

There are said to be several hundred families of S&kadwtpt Brahmans in 
Benares. Many are engaged in the study of the sacred books, though not all. 
Some are devoted to trade. Jethu Misr, a banker of considerable wealth in that 
city, is a Brahman of this tribe. The following is a list of some of the gotras^ 
clans, and titles, of these Brahmans : — 




Urwar ... Bharaddwl^ 

... Misr. 

Adrawftr ... Bh&raddw^ 

... Misr. 

Kbantw&r ... Eanndinija 

... Pathak. 

Onariy&r ... ( ) 

... Ditto 

Makhapawftr... ( ) 

... Misr. 

Jamwart ... ( ) 

... Pathak. 

Bhaluuijar ... Sandil 

... Pandit. 

Thakurmirao... Sandil 

... Ditto. 

Chherij&r ... Grarg 

... P^nde. 

Sri Mauriyor ... Par^r 

... Pande. 

Panchhaiya ... S&ndil 

... Misr. 

Anwadhiy&r ... Yatsa 

... Misr. 

Paranij&r . ... Ditto 

... P&nde. 

Enkurandhsl ... Par&sar 

... Ditto 

Dedh& ... Kaundiniya 

... Misr. 

Deokuliyar ... Bh&raddwl$j 

... Pande. 

Bilsaya ... K&syap 

... Ditto 

Pawaey&r ... Ditto 

... Misr. 




All these various classes and ranks hold intercourse with one another, and 

Section II. — Mathurd ke Chaicbl^ or Brahmans of Mathurd. 

Chaubi is a title assumed by certain classes of Brahmans, of various 
tribes and sub*divisions of tribes, in many parts of India. Its proper meaning is one 
who can read the four Yedas, an honour doubtless highly coveted in ancient times. 
Like many other titles, however, it has entirely lost its original purport, and is borne 
by a multitude of persons, who not only are unable to read these ancient writings, 
but are totally ignorant of all knowledge of the Sanskrit language. The Chaubis of 
Mathurdt are! distinct from all other Chaubis, and constitute a separate class, or 
order of Brahmans, having no relation to other Brahmans, and holding no social 
intercourse with them. In their customs, they are very similar to other tribes. 

There is a tradition among the Chaubis that their ancestors, at a remote 
period of Indian history, were compelled by persecution to retire from Mathurd 
for a time, and to place themselves under the protection of king Sarsen, grand- 
father of Krishna, and that they resided near Jateshwar, on the Jumna. 



There is one! custom peculiar to this people,; arising, it is supposed, from the 
smaUness of the tribe. On occasion of a girl being given in marriage by one 
family to another, an agreement is made that the second family shall, if required, 
give a girl in return to a youth of the first. This custom is altogether repu- 
diated by high-caste Brahmans, who will give their daughters in marriage to 
young men of lower Brahmanical rank, but will by no means take their sisters 
for their sons. V , 

The Chaubis are a fine manly race, and are famed throughout the North- 
western Provinces for their skill and muscular strength, exhibited in wrestling, 
boxing, and other athletic sports. Yet not merely are the Mathur& Chaubis 
celebrated for such exercises, but also other Chilubis. 

There are a few members of this tribe in Benares, from whom Ihave learnt 
the following account of their chief divisions. 

The Chaubis are primarily divided into seven gotras^ or branches, with their 
seven clans, which are further sub-divided into sixty -four minor clans. 

Primary gotras and clans of the Mathur& Chaubi Brahmans : 



1. Kakora ... Dnksha 

2. Mihart ... Eautsa 
8. Purohit ... Sausravas 
4. E&hi ... VashUht 


.... Chaubi. 
... Ditto. 
... Ditto. 
••• Ditto. 




5. Battiya .«• Bhargau ••• Chaubi. 

6. Uthauhija... BhtLraddw^j ...Ditto. 

7. Gagolija t.. Diiiim ... Ditto. 

A few of these Mathur& Chaubi Brahmans are found in the Agra district, 
where, it is said, they accept offerings at times and places when they would be 
refused by Brahmans of higher rank and greater strictness. They are, for the 
most part, landholders and traders. Some also are known to reside in the Main- 
'piJoA district, where, as indeed in many other places, they are termed ^^ Mathu- 
riyas,'^ in contradistinction to the Chaubi Brahmans which have no connexion 
with the Mathur& tribe. Those in Mainpiiri came originally from Chittore. 

Chaubi Brahmans — a distinct race from the Mathur& tribe, and belonging 
to many separate clans and gotras^ and even to different Brahmanical tribes, — are 
scattered over the districts of Azimgarh, Jaunpiir, Gorakhpiir, Mirzaptir, and 
Benares, in considerable numbers. They are a martial, high-blooded people^ 
distinguished for energy and courage, and other manly virtues. 

Section III. — The Mdlwti Brahmans. 

It is a matter of doubt whether the Mlllw& Brahmans belong to any of tlie 
principal tribes of Brahmans, If they do so at all, they probably ute akin to 


their neighbours, the Gujer&ti Brahmans. And yet I am not aware that they 
claim or acknowledge any such connexion. It is remarkable that the Deswdit 
GhhanlLti Brahmans, consisting of six separate divisions, though regarding 
MMw& as their home, do not associate with the Mdlwdi Brahmans. That the 
same tract of country should have produced two distinct and independent classes 
of Brahmans, is very remarkable. The history of both might probably be 
gained upon the spot, but nowhere else. 

Some of the Md>lwd. Brahmans in the province of Benares are said to have 
been in those parts for many generations. The tradition current amongst them 
is, that, about four hundred years ago, their ancestors left their native country, 
and established themselves in that province. Gradually, intercourse between 
them and their kindred in M&lw4 fell off, until at length all caste relations 
ceased ; so that now they are virtually two separate tribes, and do not intermarry 
or eat food together. 

The Mdlwd. Brahmans are divided into thirteen and-a-half gotras^ which are 
practically fourteen, as follows : — 

Qotras of the Mdlwd Brahmans. 

1. Bh&raddwdj. 

2. Fardsar. 

3. Angiras. 

4. Gautam. 

5. S&ndil. 

6. TUk&ksh. 

7. Vatsa. 

8. Kautsa. 

9. Kasyap. 

10. Katyayan. 

11. Kaundinya. 

12. Maitraya. 

13. Ardha-Yasisht. 

14. Yasisht. 

The members of all these gotras can intermarry, 
together at the same festival. 



Section IV. — The Kurmdchali Brahmans. 

The hilly redons of the province of Kumaon are inhabited partly by a 
r«e of BrahLnfof undoubted .nti,ui.y. It ia uukno^ whence 'theyUe; 
indeed, they are recntrded as aboriginal. Tet by some persons the Kurm&chali 
Bralunlu. L reckoCd »n„ng the fividona of the Gaur trihe proper. As the 
•natter is doubtful, I have preferred to pkce them iu the list of aupplem«u«a]r 
Brahmamcal tribes. 

The KurmlU^hali Brahmans have two branches, as follows : — 

I. Deshasht. 
n. Earpiiri. 

Each of these branches is divided into a iiiimb» of clans, the naaies of 
some of which I have been able to ascertain. Those given below are all found 
in the city of Benares. 

Suh'divisions of the Deshasht Branch. 




1. GangftwaU ... Bh&raddwftj ... Pant. 

2, Ehfita ... Ditto ... Ditto. 




8. Tillit ... Bh&raddwiy... Pant 

4. GrangSw&If ... Visw&mitra... Bhatt 

Stib'divisions of the Karp6H Branch. 


1. PfttiawSl 

2. Paliyftft 
8. Almorha 

4. Oang&wali 

5. Shimaltia 

6. Palladia 

7. Jhljara 

8. F&tiawal 






... Bh&raddwiy 




... Bhgraddwiy 


••• Gautam 



Tiiarf ... 

... Ditto 


... Ditto 




... Ditto 


... Bh&raddw^ 



H&t ... 

••. Ditto 


... El&sjap .•• 




... Gautam ... 


... Angiras ... 



Mai& ... 

.^ Bh&raddwiy 


... Gkffg 



Khol& ... 

... Gnutam ... 


... Bhftraddwftj 





The Kurm&chali Brahmans keep aloof from other Brahmanical tribes, and 
although, as before remarked, they are sometimes ranked with the Gaurs, yet 
the latter do not intermarry with them, or eat cooked food in their company ; 
indeed, the Kurm&chali clans do not all hold marriage relations with one another. 
In addition to the two-fold division of the tribe already noticed, they are, on 
ceremonial and religious grounds, further divided into the Yaishnavas^ who 
worship Vishnu, and refrain from animal food, and the Shaivas, who worship 
Shiva, and eat meat. 

It is worthy of remark, that one of the divisions of the Kurm&chall Brah- 
mans, — namely, the Deshasht, — ^is also found as the designation of one of the princi- 
pal divisions of the Mah&r&shtra Brahmans. 

Besides the Kurmachalis Proper, there are several other Kurmd.chali tribes 
having no connexion with one another. It will be sufficient to give their desig- 
nations merely, leaving their descriptions to those better acquainted with them 
than the author : — 

Kanoujiya Kurm&chali. 
Maharashtra Kurmllchali. 
Gurjar Kurmachali. 
Purine KurmsLchali. 

Section V. — The Naipdll Brahmans. 

The Naip&li Brahmans are now separate from all others, but a tradition 
exists that, in the time of Nanda Raja, they sustained intimate relations with 
other tribes, and intermarried with them. Their lax ceremonial habits, however, 
in eating the flesh of buffidoes and other animals, and in drinking ardent spirits, 
would alone lead them to be despised, and to be regarded as a degenerate race 
by the stricter Brahmans of the plains. The tradition prevalent amongst them, 
and which probably is true, is that they sprang from the Kanoujiya stock. The 
disavowal of the relationship by the Kanoujiyas is in itself no valid reason for 
rejecting the tradition. 

The divisions and sub-divisions of this tribe are very numerous. The 
following list of some of the principal has been furnished by the Nepalese 
Brahmana of Benares. While the names of their gotras are, for the most part. 



similar to those found among other Brahmanical tribes, nevertheless, the titles 
which they assume are, with few exceptions, peculiar : — 

Clans^ Ootras^ and Titular Rank of the Nepalese Brahmans. 















Buddh-Singh . Kasjap 

























Dangsaljang... Atri 











Pashupatitar... Ghrita-kausik 

Ghy&l-chok ... Atreya 

Tukucha ... Atri 

Kay Has ... Ditto 

Nigalpani ... Dhananjaya . 

Palan-chok ... Yasisht 

Palpa ... Gautam 


... Kegumi. 
... Khadal. 
... Bhattrat. 
... Naip&l 
... BegamL 
... BhattrSi. 
... Ghimire. 
... Regamt 
... DhakSil. 
... Sikghal. 
... Bupakhett. 
... Dhak&l. 
... Pandysll. 
... Acharya. 
... Rishal. 
... Tiwart. 
... Chalise. 
... Dhumgan&. 
... Pokhyal. 
... Gotamyd. 
... Silwal. 
... Arjal. 
... Dliakal. 
... Bharrari. 
... Rijal. 
... Ghimire. 
... TimisirsL 
... Arjyal. 
... New&par. 
... Naipal. 
... Regami. 
... Pokhyal. 
... Misr. 
... Rijal. 
... Kharryal. 
... Pant. 



Talt ... Bh&raddwaj 

Asantol ••• Ditto 
Lunjung ••• Kausik 
Bhachchpak ... K&syap 


••• Yiswamitra 
... Grarg 
... Bharaddwaj 
... Ghrita-kausik 

Khinchp&t ... Atreya 
Naip&l ... Kaudinya 


... Ditto 
... Kausik 
... Yasisht 
... Kaudinya 

Biirha-nilkanth K&syap 



... Atri 
... Atreya 
... Bh&raddwaj 
••• Atri 
Goganpant ... Kasyap 
Mandan ... Ghrita-kausik 
... Yatsa 
... Mohuliya 
Adhikhol& ... Atreya 
Y&sdol ... Bharaddwaj 

Palp& ...ADgiras 

Dhapakhel ... Dhananjaya 
Pokhlyang ... Atreya 
... Kausik 
... Kaudinya 
... Bh&raddwaj 















... Bhadari. 
... Bhatt. 
... Tiwari. 
... Adhik4ri. 
... Aijanputr. 
... LamiclihS,nya. 
... Dyaukota. 
... Khadal. 
... PaudyaL 
... Paknmpal. 
... S&pkota. 
... Dungani. 
\.. ChalispL 
... Baskota. 
... Adhik&n. 
... Khatiwara. 
... Pandyal. 
... Pokharnyal. 
... Grotamya. 
... Gartaula. 
... Naipal. 
... Dalan. 
... Timisira. 
... Kaphle. 
... Bagle. 
... Josi. 
... Rijal. 
... AijpaU 
... Rimal. 
... Neop&ne. 
... Suved. 
... B^le* 
... Pande. 
... Koirala. 
... Paguli. 
... Dhak&l. 


Section VI. — The KdshmlH Brahmans. 

That Edfihmtr, or as it is usually spelt, Cashmere, is one of the primitive 
seats of the Brahmans in India, is beyond dispute. Situated on the highway 
from Central Asia to India, it was only natural that the Aryan race should select 
this beautiful country, with its hills and valleys, for one of its first settiements. 
It is singular, however, that the only Hindu caste known to the province is the 
Brahmanical. While innumerable castes have sprung up on the plains, the 
Brahmans have appropriated Cashmere exclusively to themselves. This circum- 
stance furnishes an argument for the original unity of the Hindu tribes. If this 
unity did not exist in very ancient times, it is diflScult to account for the fact 
that only Brahmans have occupied Cashmere. The Honorable Greorge Camp- 
bell, in his "Ethnology of India," gives, in a few lines, a condensed view of the 
relation of the Brahmans to Cashmere, and also of their personal characteristics. 

"Kashmir," he says, "is a Bramin country. The lower classes have long 
been converted to Mahomedanism ; but they seem to be ethnologically identical 
with the Bramins ; and tradition also asserts that they are of the same race. At 
the present day no other Hindu caste, save the Bramin, is known ; nor is there 
any trace (so far as I could find) that there ever was any other in the country. 
The Bramin population is numerous ; but it would seem as if, while the illiterate 
multitude adopted the religion of the ruling power, the better educated and 
superior class maintained their own tenets : and at this day, the Bramins (or 
Pandits, as they are usually called) form quite a sort of aristocracy. They are 
almost all educated, and exceedingly clever ; and so, being to a great degree 
above manual labour, they are an excessive and soifiewhat oppressive bureau- 
cracy, which not only has ruled Kashmir under every successive Government, 
but sends out colonies to seek a livelihood throughout Northern India. 

" The Kashmir Brahmans are quite High-Arian in the type of their features, 
very fair and handsome, with high chiselled features, and no trace of intermix- 
ture of the blood of any lower race. It may be partiy race, and partly occupa- 
tion, but they have certainly a greater refinement and regularity of feature than 
the Afighans and others of a rougher type, with, however, a less manly-looking 
physique, and a colour less ruddy, and more inclining to a somewhat sallow 
fairness. The high nose, slightly aquiline, but by no means what we call Jewish 
or put-cracker, is a common type. Kaise a little the brow of a Greek statue, 
and give tiie nose a small turn at the bony point in front of the bridge, so as to 
break the straightness of line, you have then the model type of this part of 


India, to be found both in the living men and ia the statues dug up in the 
Peshawar valley. There are also a good many straight noses, and some 
varietieSi as in all places, but much less departure from an ordinary handsome 
standard than in most countries. The figure of the ordinary working Eish- 
mlri is strong and athletic. But none of them are martial ; and the Bramins 
are, in this respect, no exception. They rule by the brain and the pen, and not 
by the sword. It is this character that has gained them the favour of so many 
rulers of a different faith. Kashmir long belonged to the Cabul kingdom ; but 
it was never in any degree colonised by Affghans, and is singularly free from 
any modem intermixture of foreign races. The fact seems to be, that the 
valley never belonged to the Affghan nation, but was always retained as a 
Crown appanage of the kings, who were very jealous of admitting into it sub- 
jects whom they might find it difficult to turn out again, and much preferred to 
govern through the Pandits. Others have, to a great extent, followed the same 
policy. The KS,shmiri Pandits are known all over Northern India as a very 
clever and energetic race of office-seekers. As a body they excel in acuteness 
the same number of any other race with whom they come in contact" (a). By 
the last observation Mr. Campbell does not mean to imply that the Kashmiri 
Brahmans are more intelligent and clever than some other Brahmanical tribes, 
but that they are unsurpassed in this respect by other races. He compares them 
with Mahratta Brahmans, to whom, probably, they are in no respect inferior; 
but he says they have not had the same advantage in the plains of India as the 
Mahratta Brahmans have had among the inferior races of their own country. 
He acknowledges, too, that as foreigners among energetic races they have had a 
much harder struggle than Mahratta Brahmans, and have not made themselves 

The K&shmirl Brahmans, although o£ such acknowledged antiquity, have 
in reality no status among Brahmanical tribes. Some of the Benares Pandits 
rank them among Kanoujiya Brahmans, but most erroneously, I conceive, inas- 
much as the Kashmiris are of older date than the Kanoujiyas. Why the 
Kfishmiris have not been admitted among the ten principal Brahmanical tribes 
is owing, I imagine, to two reasons. In the first place, as inhabitants of a 
mountainous region they have been separated from them geographically ; and 
secondly, the cold climate of the hills has induced among them, as among the 
Brahmans of Naip&l, certain lax habits which Brahmans on the plains regard 
with abhorrence. Foremost of these is the habit of eating the flesh of animals, 

(a) Ethnology of India, pp. 57-59. 



which, during the severe winter, they feel to he necessary, not only for the pre- 
servation of health, hut even for the support of life. Mr. Campbell thinks it 
not improbable that the ten tribes have actually sprung from the K&shmiri 
Brahmans. He states a very interesting circumstance, and one of considerable 
importance in relation to primitive Brahmanical genealogy, regarding the con- 
nection of the Rishi ElLsyap, — who is the founder of so many gotras or great 
families among the Brahmans throughout India, — with the Brahmans of Cashmere. 
The founder of the Kashmiri Brahmans is the same K4syap, he remarks, ^who 
drained the lake, colonised the valley, gave his name to K^hg&r and K&shmir, 
and to the people originally called K&shas or K^lssias' (a). 

The K&shmiri Pandits are said to be descended from three brothers, Kabit, 
Mimit, and Omit, who in former times distinguished themselves for their know- 
ledge of Sanskrit poetry and logic, and for their acquaintance with the Vedant 

This tribe of Brahmans has three great divisions, as follows : 

Divisions of Kdshmlrt Brahmaru. 

I. Bhatt. 

n. Pandit. 

m. Mjdftn. 

Each of these has its clans and gotras. How many they number, I am un- 
able to say : the undermentioned sub-divisions are found among the E&shmiri 
Brahmans residing in Benares^ 

Branches of the Bhatt Division. 


Ahalrear ... 









Branches of the Pandit DifAsim. 














Chhachabala ... Bhctraddw^ 
Aludmaii ... Ditto 


^. JftdiK. 
... ELaohro* 
... Majja. 
•*. Munja. 
... Photaaf. 
... Batphnlo. 

Clan. . Gotra. Title. 

Chhachabala ... Dad-Bhfiraddw^ Dar. 

Alikdal ^. Ditto .,. Ditto. 

BaD&w&lt ... Upmanju ... Sum. 

Jogilankar ... Dattatraija ... B&n. 

Pilmpol ... IHiT&^g&rgya ... Photd&r. 

Banawali ... Bhargau ... JSrda. 

... Ditto. 

(n) Ethiology 6f India, p. SB. 




Baldimar ••• 

Branches of the Rdjddn 

• Swftmin Graatam Lang&kshi 

• •• ••• A^ttwv ••• ••• ••• 



Section VII. — The Sapt-Shati Brahmans. 

A tribe of Brahmans found in Bengal, and so far as I am aware, uncon- 
nected with any of the ten Brahmanical tribes. It occupies a low position 
among Brahmans. There is a tradition that originally it was associated with 
one of the superior races, and that it lost its position through the ceremonial 
delinquencies of its members. At one time it held no intercourse with the 
Eanoujiya Brahmans of Bengal ; but of late years a bond of union has been 
cemented between it and the orthodox Rd.rhiy& branch of the Eanoujiya Brah- 
mans of Bengal, so that now the latter will partake of food together with the 

This tribe eats animal food, and drinks spirits at pleasure, both which prac- 
tices are abhorred by most Brahmans. There are but few Sapt-Shati families 
in Benares, and these, as far as possible, endeavour to hide their caste, and to 
disavow their connexion with the tribe. The term is derived from sapt, seven, 
and shat^ a hundred. 

The Sapt-Shatis have sixteen branches, as follows : 








10. B&gadt ... 





11. Ulnkt 



N&nashi ... 


12. Chhuturi ... 





13. Malluk-jori 





14. N&chadt ... 





15. Kat&ni 





16. K&syap-Kftnadt 





. The gotra of this branch waa c 

iriginally Kftayap, but 


B&lthopi ... 


lost its poaition from diaobed 

ience to caste rolea. 

The yoTra of thiB bnu 

och waa originally Bhiraddwiy. 

Section VIII. — The Shenevi Brahmans. 

The Shenevi Brahmans are a supplementary tribe found in Southern India, 
holding no relations with the five great Dr&vira races. Wilson says of them, 


that they are ^^a class of Hindus in the Mahratta country, who maintain that 
they are Brahmans, and wear the characteristic cord ; but who are not recog- 
nized to be so by the other Brahmans, from whom they differ chiefly in eating 
fish" (a). 

Section IX. — The Palashe Brahmans. 

This is an independent tribe of Brahmans in Southern India, neither includ- 
ed among the five Dr&viras, nor apparently connected with any of them. 

The remaining supplementary tribes of Brahmans are of little weight or 
importance, except perhaps locally. As already observed in a previous chapter, 
I am not aware that any one of them has representatives in Benares, a circum- 
stance sufficient to show their insignificance. 

(a) Wil80Q*8 Gloesary, p. 474. 






This is the second of the great Hindu castes, and is called Kshatriya and 
Kajpoot almost indiscriminately. A distinction is sometimes drawn between 
tiiese tenns, however ; but it has always appeared to me to be more nominal 
than real. It is certain that, throughout the Benares province, the two mean 
precisely the same thing. Whether they do so elsewhere, I am unable to affirm. 

The Rajpoots, like the Brahmans, were once very powerful and influential. 
Although in the deadly contentions between these two primitive tribes, in the 
early Hindu epoch in India, the Rajpoots, whether by force of arms, or by 
intrigue and artifice, succumbed to the sacerdotal class, yet it is incontestible that, 
for many long ages, they were the principal rulers of India. The great Hindu 
families, descendants of mighty potentates, are still, in the main, of Rajpoot blood. 
The Chauh&ns and R&thors trace back their lineage to the period when they had 
not yet united to resist Mahomedan incursions, and were content to expend their 
strength in their conflicts with one another. Among the noble houses of the 
nations of the earth, there are none that can boast of a longer pedigree, or of a 
more splendid history, than the Rajpoots of India. 

Much might be written on this subject. The discussion of Rajpoot annals 
and heroic deeds is not the object of this work, although in itself confessedly 
an object of great interest and moment. Not a little has been written at various 
times by European authors on this topic. It would be mere presumption for 
me to follow in their wake, by saying anything respecting the political and 
national history of this people. I shall limit myself chiefly to an account of their 
actual condition at the present moment, and to an enumeration of some of the 
divisions of the caste, especially with reference to Benares and its vicinity. 


In ancient times the two functions of this race were ruling and fighting* 
Only one of these, the latter, still remains. A large proportion of the sepoys of 
the Indian army have ever been, and still are, Rajpoots. The number, I 
imagine, has somewhat diminished since the mutiny. Yet this occupation is 
regarded by all classes as a legitimate and natural one for the members of this 
caste. The phj/siqice of the Rajpoot, in the opinion of military men, peculiarly 
adapts him for the life of a soldier. He is generally tall and well made, with a 
good development of muscle, but with a smaller proportion of bone. He is of 
somewhat larger build than the Brahman, yet does not display in his counte- 
nance the Brahman's high intelligence and commanding dignity, nor has the 
Brahman's thinness of skin and delicacy of complexion. 

The other special function of these tribes, that of ruling, has, with the spread 
of British power in India, nearly passed away. Some of the great chiefs, such as 
the Maharajas of ITdaipiir, Joudhp^, Jaip^, Eapurthala, Pattidla, Rewah, and 
others, still possess some form of monarchical authority ; but the greater propor- 
tion of Rajpoot princes and nobles are of mere titular rank. In many cases diey 
are owners of large estates ; and in virtue thereof, and of the ancient name they 
bear, with its accompanying degree of honour, exert a considerable amount of 
local influence — an influence, however, with not much authority attending it. 
Regarding the Rajpoot nobles as the chief components of the aristocracy of 
India, and therefore as representatives of the entire order, it may be well to 
enquire for a moment into the aims and purposes which they pursue. Formerly, 
they could command armies, or divisions and sub-divisions of armies, and were 
employed as rulers over provinces and districts, or else governed in their own 
right. Such occupations gave scope to their ambition, and an object on which 
their intelligence and energy might expend themselves. But all this has been 
changed. Not being employed now in such offices, or in any other of great national 
or social interest, life is to many of them without a purpose. The majority of 
the higher classes of course are satisfied with an existence of luxurious indolence ; 
yet not all. They feel, however, that it is useless to be ambitious, for that there 
is nothing for them to do, and very little for them to gain. A few make them- 
selves conspicuous by their liberality and public spirit, in laying out vast sums of 
money on colleges, schools, hospitals, asylums, and the like. Yet their secret 
personal ambition is mostly directed to very inferior objects. To secure a higher 
place in the Governor-General's Durbar, or more frequent salutes, or a greater 
number of guns at each salute, some will devote years of time, and lacs of 
rupees, and will engage in a course of intrigues of the most intricate character. 


Thifl is pitiful, but by no means surprising. The truth is, that want of 
employment is the great bane of the aristocracy of India in the present day. It 
is not a healthy condition, nor a safe and satisfactory one. 

A large number of the Rajpoot caste are addicted to agriculture. As 
traders, or manufacturers, Rajpoots are little known. The general conclusion, 
therefore, is, that, although, socially, this tribe occupies a high position, and 
although, under more genial circumstances and conditions, it was authoritative 
and influential, yet it is now in a state of great depression. Educated men, 
and men of commanding prominence as writers, thinkers, or actors, do not 
spring from it as they do from some others of a much lower grade in Hindu 
opinion. It is notorious that both Brahmans and Rajpoots, or the members of 
the two highest and most distinguished races in India, are, speaking generallyi 
fast losing ground, and giving place to the lower castes. 

In confirmation of some of these views, Mr. Campbell, in his account of 
the Rajpoots, makes the following pregnant remarks : — " They are chiefly known 
to Europeans in their military character and as feudal conquerors. But, in 
reality, in their own villages in the plains of the Ganges, they are simple 
agriculturists, of a constitution very much like that of the Jats, only less pure and 
complete. The fact is that the Rajpoots have had their day, and are now a 
down-going race. Partly the furnishing of armies and feudal hosts has 
exhausted the material, and corrupted the simplicity of their original villages ; 
partly infanticide and other causes tend to diminish their numbers. The result 
of all which is, that over great tracts of country, we find them rather a minority, 
trying to maintain a failing rule over a scarcely subject majority, than forming 
full democratic bodies of free Rajpoots. Still, in some parts of the country, the. 
agricultural Rajpoot villages are strong and numerous ; the land is divided 
among them; every Rajpoot is free and equal; and the commune is administered 
on democratic principles. Wherever this is so, their institutions are like those of 
the Jats. Although they have never cared much for Bramins, they have, 
unlike the Jats, the ceremonies and superstitions of Hindu caste. They cook 
once a day with great fuss and form, almost every man for himself, after the 
most approved Hindustani fashion ; and are very particular about caste-marks. 
Their widows may not re-marry ; and it is their excessive point of honour to 
marry their daughters to none but men of the best tribes (a feeling allied to our 
chivalry, no doubt), that renders the daughters such a burden to them, and makes 
female infanticide unfortunately so common among them. Their wives, again, 
are shut up after the Mahomedan fashion, and are lost for agricultural labor. 


Altogether, Bfljpoot females are a veiy nnsatisfactory institation; and this 
goes (kr to weigh down and give a comparatively bad name to men who are often 
industrious enough" (a). 

Infanticide as practised by the Rajpoots arises, in the first instance, fit)m 
the custom of the race to prohibit intermarriages among members of the same 
tribe* No matter how extensive the tribe may be, or how many soever the 
ramifications it may have, it properly forms one £unily, of which the men are 
all brothers, and the women are all sisters. Just as a brother cannot marry 
a suiter, so a man cannot many a woman of the same tribe, though there may 
be no blood relationship whatever between them. This produces anotiier 
custom equally pernicious, namely, that of endeavouring to many a girl into 
a tribe of a higher rank than that to which she belongs. The lower tribes of 
Rajpoots have consequently a motive of great strength to induce them to spare 
the lives of their girls, inasmuch as their ambition is gratified by the superior 
alliances which are thus formed. But this motive becomes less powerful the 
higher the rank of the girl, until in tribes of the highest rank it has no force at 
all. The marriage of a girl in such case is attended with prodi^ous expense, 
with no counterbalanciDg circumstances gratifying the pride or ambition of her 
family. The result has been infanticide. It will thus be found that this fearful 
crime has been practised almost exclusively by higher caste Rajpoots, and 
to a small extent only by Rajpoot tribes of inferior degree. It is not the 
purpose of this work to suggest remedial measures for an evil of this character ; 
yet it is manifest to the writer, that one of the most efiectual would be to 
encourage and facilitate marriages between the sexes in the highest tribes, and, 
if practicable, to induce the sexes, not related by consanguinity to one another 
in the same tribe, to intermarry. 

The Kshatriyas were originally divided into two principal and co-ordinate 
branches, styled SClrajbanst, or the Solar Race, and Chandrabansi, or the Lunar 
race; to which were added the four Agniculas, or Fire Tribes. Afterwards 
they were further divided into thirty-six Royal Tribes, each of which has had, or 
still has, its own princes and nobles; and many of them were still further 
separated into clans and families. The Kshatriyas, therefore, are almost as 
extensive in their ramifications as the Brahmans. Various lists of the royal 
tribes have been given by writers. The following is that drawn up by 
Colonel Tod (6). 

(a). Campbeirs Ethnology of India, pp. 86, 87. 

(b). Tod*8 Ri^'asthan, Vol. L, p. 80. He also gives seyeral other list4. 



Thirty-six Royal Tnbes of Rajpoots. 



Surya (Solar Race.) 




Jaitwa, or Kamari. - 


Som, or CliaQdra (LuDar 



Gohil. . . 



6i*abilot, or Gahilot ... 

24 Branches. 





• • 

8 ditto. 





JL u ur ••• ••• ••« 

17 ditto. 





13 ditto. 


\jl8Ur ... ... a. 

5 Branches. 


Kashwaha, or Kacbwaha 



Doda, or Dor. 



35 Brandies. 




ChahumaD, or Chnuhan 

26 ditto. 


Bir-Giijar 3 Branches. 


Chaliik, or Solauki ... 

16 ditto. 





12 ditto. 








Tak, or Takshak. 




Jit, Get, or Jat. 




Han or Hun. 






Nik dm pa. 




Raj pal i. 


flXl&l& ••• •»• ••• 

2 Branches. 



Many of these royal tribes are represented in Benares ; while many others, 
not of the royal families, are found there likewise. Scattered over the Nortli- 
Westem Provinces are numerous clans of Rajpoots, more or less connected 
with the royal races, which, from intermarriages with them and with one 
another, and, in some cases, probably with non-Rajpoot families, and also by 
reason of -local associations, have established for themselves thi3 position of 
separate tribes bearing their own distinctive names. Such as can trace their 
Rajpoot lineage, and are of undoubted purity of blood, are recognized as belong- 
ing to the great Rajpoot brotherhood, and frequently intermairy with the 
ancient houses. 

In giving a sketch of the tribes represented in Benares, it will be necessary, 
for the sake of completeness, to show in what respects they are connected with 
other parts of these provinces, as well as to furnish, as far as practicable, some 
account of their origin and history. Little, .hitherto, has been accomplished in a 
consecutive manner on this subject. - 1 hope, therefore, that the following connected 
description of most of the leading tribes of Rajpoots now existing in these Pro- 
vinces, and of some of the inferior and less known tribes, although in no case so 
full and complete as the subject deserves, will be of some use, if only in present- 
ing a picture of each in succession. ; . 



At the head of the Kshatrijas of Benares is His Highness the Maha- 
raja of Yizianagram, who, although properly belonging to the Northern 
Sircars, in the Madras Presidency, where he possesses large estates, yet resides 
for the most part in Benares. His father lived there many years, and the 
present Maharaja's early days were spent in that city. So that it has come 
to pass that he is recognized as the head of the Rajpoots of the city and 

During the year 1870 great efforts were made by the members of the Benares 
Institute to induce the leading castes of Benares to agree to lessen greatly 
the expenses incurred at marriage festivals. The Maharaja of Yizianagram 
undertook to preside over the meetings of the Rajpoot tribes, which assembled 
at his palace in considerable numbers. I may here add, that the results of 
these meetings were very successful, so far as the attainment of their special 
object was concerned. The representatives of the tribes agreed to adopt three 
different rates of expenditure, according to the rank and condition of the per- 
sons to be married. It is yet to be seen whether the promises which have 
been made on this subject, not only by the Kshatriyas, but also by many other 
castes in Benares, will be fully observed. Should they be so, it is unquestion- 
able that a great social reform will have been accomplished. Marriages will 
no longer be a heavy burden, and infanticide, as practised on female children 
with the view of saving the expense of the marriage ceremony, with its attend- 
ant festivities, will cease. - Thirty tribes were represented on these occasions 
at the house of the Maharaja. During the last great marriage season, in 
the spring of the year 1871, some of the castes observed the promises which 
had been made by their representatives, and performed the marriage ceremony 
for a sum considerably less than what had been customary for many years. 
The Kayasths were especially conspicuous for their observance of the new rules 
of marriage expenditure. 

The following is a list of Rajpoot tribes in Benares, including the district 
and province of that name, which are more or less described in the following 
pages : — 

Rajpoot Tribes of Benares. 

7. Kachhwaha. 

8. Pramarai Ponwar, Pomar or Puar. 

9. Dore. 

10. Parihara. 

11. Naraulija. "^ 

12. Chalukija or Solankhi. 















13. Baghel. 

14. Chauhan. 

15. Bhadauriya. 

16. Bachgoti. 

17. Bilkhariya. 

18. DhrigubanBi. 

19. R^jkumar. 

20. Raj war. 

21. Hara. 

22. Khichi. 

23. Naikumbb. 

24. Bargyan. 

25. Gabarwar. 

26. Einwar. 

27. Cbandela. 

28. Sengarb. 

29. Sakarwar. 

30. Eausik. 

31. Bais. 

32. Gautam. 

33. Diksbit. 

34. Simet. 

35. Ragbubansi. 

36. HayobaoB. 

37. Bacbalgoti. 

38. Monas. 

39. Bisen. 

40. J&t. 

41. Bbattigiijar. 

42. Raikw&r. 

43. Donwar. 

44. Lautamia. 

45. Eakan. 

46. Eulban. 

47. Siirajbanfli. 

48. CbandrabaQBt 

49. Sombansi. 

50. Nagbansi. 

51. Bbrigubansi. 

52. Mabrawar. 

53. J&dnbansi. 

54. Sonak« 

55. Sarwar. 

56. Ujam. 




Chaupata Kbambb. 























Garg or Gargbansi. 


Horiya or Horaiya. 




Bbatbariya or Batauriya. 


Cbanamiya or Cbanamiyaa. 


















Falwar or Paliwar. 




Singbel or Singali. 




Sri Mat. 





























Respecting the Rajpoot tribes of the Province of Oudh, Mr. P. Camegy, 
Deputy Commissioner and Settlement Officer of Fyzabad, who, during his 
many years' residence in that Province has been a keen observer of its different 
races, respecting which he has at various times written interesting accounts, 
makes the following observations : ^^ I believe I am well within the mark when 
I say, that, at the present moment, there are about thirty Kshatriya clans in 
the Province, which are presided over by more than one hundred and fifty 
chiefs, who have a seat at the Viceregal Darbar, But there are, besides these, 
numerous other important colonies also, which are, however, without a chief 
at their head ; as for instance, the Sakarw^rs, the Chandels, the RS^thors, the 
Eachwd.hds, the Raghubansis, and many others" (a). The list is as follows: — 

Rajpoot Tribes of the Province of Oudh. 

No. Tribe. 

1 . Amethia 

2. Bais 

3. Bisen 

4. Bundelgote 

5. Bacbgote 

6. Bilkarria 

7. Baharia 

8. Barelliaa 

9. Cbandel 

10. Drigbansi 

11. Cboab&n 

1 2. Gaur 

1 3. Gargbansi 

14. Gautam 

15. Gamobft 


Number of Chiefs. 




of Chiefs. 



Jan war 


























Pal war 
















Rajpoot Pabari 















(a) Mr. P. Carnegy^B Baces of Oadh, p. 87. 





Members of this tribe are, it is said, scattered over a considerable portion 
of the North-Western Provinces ; yet, if this be so, the last Census Report, with 
the exception of two districts, barely acknowledges their existence elsewhere. 
They are only noticed altogether in five districts (a). Elliot says they are in 
great numbers in Bulandshahr ; but the Census Report is sUent about them (A). 
They are landholders in the districts of Mirzapdr, GhazipAr, Azimgarh, Cawnp<ir, 
Mathura, Farakhab&d, Aligarh, and Bulandshahr. 

The tribe has twenty-four branches, as follows : Aharya, Mangaliya, Slsodiya 
Rpara, Kftlam, Gflhor, Dhomiya, Gaura, Magarsft, Bhimaia, Kamkotak, Kutechft, 
SorH, Uhar, Useba, Nirrtlp, Nadoriya, Mdhotft, UjHrkft, KutacharA, Dusaudh, 

BateorH, P&h&, Purot (c). 

The Rana of Udaipiir is of the Sisodiya branch of this tribe, and lays claim 
to a long and distinguished lineage. His ancestors were formerly rulers in 
Gujerat, from which country they were expelled. In the time of Prithi Raja 
(with whom many Rajpoots of the present day Kke to link themselves), it is 
said, one of the members of this . family intermarried with that famous house. 
RaiDurgft, of the Sisodiya clan of Gahlots, was a general in Akbar's army, and 
accompanied Prince Mur&d on his. expedition agamst:MirzaMahammad Hakim 
of Cabul. He also went on several other expeditions (d)., The Sisodiya and 

 • * * 

(a) Beport of the Census of ihe Norlih-Westem Pitoyinces for 1865, VoL H. ; Generd SUtement No. IL. 

^' "(j) Elliot'. Supplemei.t.1 Qloasaiy, VoL I., p. 90. See also ihe Beport of the Censu of 18W, VoL I. 

Appendix B.*, p. 69. 

(c) Tod's Bajaflihan, Vol. I., p. 84. • 

(d) Ain i Akbari, Mr. Bloohmaim'a TraMlation, ol L, p. 417. 


Aharja branches are amongst the most important of the tribe. The former 
term is sometimes applied to the entire race. Indeed, Colonel Tod asserts, that 
Stsodija was the last change of name which the Rana of Udaipiir's family imder- 
went. It was first, he says, Surajbans, then Grahilot or (rahilot, Aharya and 
Stsodiya. These changes arose from revolutions and local circumstances. 

This race, according to the testimony of tradition, is descended in a direct 
line from R^ma. The name " Grahilot" is said to have been given to it by Gra- 
haditiya, of the family of the Balabhi kings, who became the head of the small 
principality of Edar. The appellation "Grahilot" continued to designate the tribe 
for a time ; but, on its taking possession of Ahar, was changed to Aharya, by 
which name it was known till the twelfth century, when, says Tod, " the elder 
brother, R4hap, abandoned his claim to the throne of Chittore, obtained by force 
of arms from the Mori, and settled at DongarpAr, which he yet holds, as well 
as the title ^ Aharya,' while the younger, MS^hap, established the seat of power 
at Slsoda, whence Slsodiya set aside both Aharya and Gahlot" (a). Although the 
tribe, as already stated, is sometimes styled Slsodiya, yet this term is properly 
only applicable to one branch of the twenty-four into which the Grahlots are 
divided. Sir John Malcolm remarks, " that of the Rajpoot families who have 
exercised power, and who stand first in reputation, are the Slsodyas, Rftthors, 
Kachwiihas, and Chauh§,ns. The Slsodiyas, which include the Udaipftr family, 
are considered the highest in r&nk, from their rule being the most ancient" (A). 

In the Agra district the Grahilots are found chiefly in the sub-divisions of 
Ferozabftd and Khandauli, where they have been settled for a long period 
extending over several hundred years. Those in FarakhabM state that they 
received a tract of country there from Prithi Raja, for the good services their 
ancestors performed in the wars against Jai Chand, the R4thor Raja of 
Kanouj. There are several families of Chirar Rajpoots, calling themselves Gah- 
lots, in the employ of the Raja of MainpAri ; but their claim to this relation- 
ship is not recognized by Rajpoots generally, and their habits are very low, 
indeed not superior to the lowest Hindu castes. The Gahlots are said to be 
landholders in Karauli, ManikpUr, and Jhanti. There are also a few of them 
in other places (c). 

In his Memorandum on the Castes of Etawah, Mr. A. O. Hume has an 

(a) Tod*8 Rnjnathan, Vol. I., pp. 83, 84; and 211, &c. See in this Yolome a very interesting account 
of the Udaipiir family. 

(b) Sir John Malcolm's Memoir of Central India, Vol. lE^ p. 128. 

(c) Report of the Census of the North- Western Proyinces for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., pp. 69, 74, 76. 


interesting notice of this tribe. " In the East a good many of the Gahlor, or, 
as it is sometimes written, Gahlot Thakurs, are to be found. The head-quarters 
of this clan, hereabouts at least, is in Pargannahs Rasulab&d and Tiriia Thatea, 
Zillah (district of) Farakhabfid. They profess to have made their way, about 
400 A. D., from MathurS. and Delhi, to assist Sultan Mahmud Tuglak in main- 
taining order in and about Kanouj; and to have received the six hundred 
villages, they still profess to hold, in reward for their service. That they obtained 
their present holdings about the time that that most blood-thirsty ruffian, Tamer- 
lane, had reduced the whole of Upper India to a state of anarchy, is, I deem, pro- 
bable enough ; but, although Mahmud Tuglak was residing for a short time at 
Kanouj, it was as a mere refugee, and I doubt whether he ever attempted to keep 
order anywhere, or possessed any power to^reward allies. I suspect by their own 
good swords they won those lands, as certainly later ' by those same swords they 
kept them' " (a). 

The Gahlots have twelve villages in the district of Oonao situated in the 
Harha Pargannah, in Tuppah (or sub-division of a Pargannah) Konrfirt, which 
is also the name of the principal village. They have occupied the country 
from the time of the emperor Aurungzebe, when they appear to have ejected 
the former Kori inhabitants (b). 

The chief city of the Gahlots in ancient times is reputed to have been 
BalabhipAr near Surat. " They became sovereigns, if not founders," says Colonel 
Tod, " of Balabhi, which had a separate era of its own, called the Balabhi 
Sambat, according with Sambat Vicrama 375." Raja Part&b Chand Slsodiya 
established a kingdom at Chitrgarh, in Mai war, and married the daughter of Naushi- 
rawan, from whom therefore the Rana of UdaipAr is said to be descended. In 
the time of Rai Pithora, one of the Chittore family occupied a portion of the 
territory now included in the Bulandshar district. His descendants gained pos- 
session of as many as sixty villages. Twenty-five of these, situated in the 
Dadrl Pargannah, are inhabited solely by Gahlots (c). 

In the Pargannah of Rastdab&d, in the CawnpAr district, the Grahilots and 
Graurs are the most numerous tribes of Rajpoots. The former are reported to 
have come originally from E^nouj . 

The Gahilots are of the K&syap gotra or order. 

(a) Gtoeral Report of the CensuB of the North- Western Frovincea for 1865, Vol. L, Memorandum by 
Mr. A. O. Hume, Appendix B., p. 84. 

(h) Mr. £lliot*8 Chronicles of Oonao, p. 6S. 
c) Census of the NcHrth-Westem Froyinces, Vol. L, Appendix B., p. 18. 




The Maharaja of Vizianagram is descended from the Ranas of Udaipdr, one 
of the most ancient, and, in popular estimation, most illustrious families in 
India. He is consequently of the Grahilot tribe ; and speaks of himself as 
belonging to the Stsodiya branch, and of the Vasisht gotra. According to the 
traditions of this famous house, Bijaibhftp, one of its members, at a very early 
period, settled in Ajudhiya, the modern Oudh, whenciB, in the year 514 of the 
S&ka era, corresponding to 592 A.D., his descendant, M^dhavavarma, 
emigrated to the TelingHna country, accompanied by representatives of the 
Vasisht, Dhanunj ay a, Kaundinya, Kasyap, and Bh&raddwSj g-o^roy of his own 

The colonists established themselves at Bejam&rah, on the river Kristna? 
which country they occupied for 921 years. In course of time they became 
a numerous people. Gradually disputes broke out among them, which ended 
in the loss of their independent sovereignty, and in their submission to Sultan 
Kali, A.D. 1512, the founder of the Kutbsh^hi dynasty of Golcondah. Under 
Abdallah, the fifth king of that line, Pusapati Tummerfij, otherwise called 
Raghunadharaj, was appointed as Subadar of the Sircars, A.D. 1652, and 
received a Jaghir, or landed estate, consisting of the Kamila and Bhogaporam 
Fargannahs. This was the first distinction conferred on the ancestors of tlie 
Vizianagram family by the Golcondah princes. When the Golcondah territory fell 
into the hands of the Emperor Aurungzebe, TummerSj was confirmed in his office 
of Subadar, and received a present of a two-edged sword from the emperor, 
which furnished the device of the coat of arms still used by the family. 

The office, however, was not to be a sinecure. Tummerdj received orders 
from his master, first to expel the English from his territory by every means 
in his power, and to take possession of or destroy their property, wherever 
found ; and, secondly, on their renewal of friendly intercourse with the emperor, 
his orders were to let them trade freely as heretofore. 

In 1690 Tummerfij was succeeded by his son Slta R^m Chandrulu, who 
added ten Pargannahs^ or baronies, to the family estates, and assumed the 
title of Kalinga Maharaj, in virtue of his acquiring Potturu, in the Kalinga 
territory. He had a retinue of 125 cavaliers and 450 foot soldiers, for his guard 


ef honour, and maintained several detachments of armed men in various parts 
of the country over which he exercised jurisdiction. 

Slta R&m was succeeded by his son Veda Ananda Rdj, who had two 
sons, Sita R4m Rdj, and Veda Yijiard^m Rdj. The latter entered upon the 
duties of the administration of the Circars in the room of his father. He 
expelled Jaffir Ali Khan, the Nawab of Chicacole, and, as a reward for his faith- 
ftil services, was honoured by the emperor with the title of Manea Sultan, or 
Chief of the Hill Districts. Thereupon, he took up his residence in the town 
of Vizianagram, where he erected the present fort, in the year 1730, a quad- 
rangular stone edifice with an enormous bastion at each corner. 

The Circars were only in nominal subjection to Aurungzebe, and were 
in reality in the hands of the Hindu chiefs who ruled over them. This state 
of things continued until 1724, when YusuQah, the great Viceroy of the Deccan, 
took them under his control, and at once inaugurated a thorough system of 
civil and military government. At his death, the French endeavoured to obtain 
a footing in these provinces, in consequence of the disputed succession. Even- 
tually, Sald^bat Jang, of the family of YusuQah, granted to the French, at 
the close of 1753, the four Circars of Mustafanagar or Eondapilly, EUore, 
Eajamandry, and Chicacole, which were taken possession of by Bussy, the 
French Greneral, through his subordinate M. Morasin, then at Masulipatam. 

At that time the most powerful Hindu noble in the Chicacole Circar was 
Veda Yijiar&m Raj, head of the Yijianagar family, who became a valuable 
^lly of Bussy. In the winter of 1756 the French general began his march into 
the Circars, accompanied by 500 European soldiers and 4000 Sepoys, and on 
the 19th December arrived at Rajamandry. Here he was met by Raja Vijiar&m 
R&j, and other Indian chiefs, at the head of a force numbering 10,000 men. 

Raja Ranga Row, chief of the Poligars in the neighbourhood, whose large 
estates, extending over twenty square miles, were contiguous to those of Raja Yijia- 
rftm Rllj, having made himself obnoxious to the latter, it was proposed to Bussy 
that Raja Ranga Row should be compelled to quit his hereditary lands of Bobily 
for others of greater extent, situated at a distance from Yijiar&m RSj's territories. 
As Ranga Row declined the proposal, when made to him, it was resolved to 
force him into submission. With the aid of his native friends, Bussy made an 
attack upon him at day-break on the 24th January 1757, and sustained it till the 
afternoon. Perceiving the hopelessness of further defence, Ranga Row formed 
the resolution of putting to death all the women and children in the fort, to 
prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. Assembling his principal 



men, he explained to them his determination, which was at once put in execa-» 
tion. Ranga Row was presently killed by a musket ball, and the fort captured, > 

Raja Vijiartm, however, paid dearly for his avarice, for, on the third day 
after the capture, at midnight, while asleep, four men from Bobily entered his 
tent, and assassinated him. 

On the news of his death spreading abroad, a crowd of people collected 
together, and while they were in full debate on the catastrophe, an old man was 
observed advancing leading a boy. ' This is the son of Ranga Row, whom I have 
preserved against his father's consent,' said the old man. On hearing this, Bussy 
presented to the boy the estate which he had offered to Ranga Row in exchange 
for Bobily, and retained him for a while in his camp. 

Leaving Bobily, Bussy marched through the northern part of the Chicacole 
province, and on his return to Hydrabad, defeated the British troops at Yizaga- 
patam, and established his power there, as well as in the other parts of the 
Northern Circars. 

Raja Yijiarslm RSj was succeeded by his nephew Gajapati Anand Raj 
Maharaj. The new Raja, soon after the departure of Bussy, made an attack on 
Vizagapatam, expelled the French garrison, and sent intelligence of his exploit 
to Madras, offering to surrender to the English the places he had captured. He 
also asked for the aid of a force wherewith to proceed against the French in the 
Deccan. Being unsuccessful in his application to Madras, he turned to Bengal for 
assistance. Lord Clive, with his accustomed promptness and far-sightedness, sent 
an expedition by sea to his support, under the command of Colonel Forde, which 
disembarked at Vizagapatam on the 12th September 1758. 

Some difficulty arose at the outset respecting the amount of pecuniary aid 
which the Raja was to give to the English force, the remuneration which he 
was ultimately to receive for the same, and the help he would give in the war, 
which having been removed by a treaty concluded between the two parties, the 
imited army attacked the French at Peddapftr, and defeated them. The enemy 
abandoned their camp, which together with large stores of ammunition fell into 
the hands of the allies. The French retreated to Rajamandry, whence they 
were driven by Colonel Forde, who shortly after laid siege to Masulipatam, and 
took it by assault. 

The Raja now refused all further supplies to Colonel Forde, who hearing 
that SallLbat Jang had advanced to within forty miles of Masulipatam, in the 
emergency paid a visit to him in his camp* Sal&bat Jang gladly made peace 
with the invader, and a treaty was made, whereby the Ci^car of Masulipataiu 


with eight districts, the Circar of Nijampatam, and the districts of Condavir 
and Wakalmanuer, were given to the English. 

On the expulsion of the French the Sircar came again under the dharge 
of the Subadar of the Deccan. His authority over them, however, was mori3 
nominal than real until the year 1765, when a Firman was issued by the Emperor 
Shah Alam, conferring the Circars on the British as a free gift unfettered by the 
intervention of third parties. Yet strange to say, on the 12th November, 1766, 
as though these treaties were both unsound, another treaty was ratified with the 
Nizam at Hyderabad, by which the East India Company agreed to pay the 
Nizam an annual tribute of nine lakhs of rupees for the Circars. 

Meanwhile, Kaja Anand Raj had fallen a victim to small-pox in the year 
1759, soon after the termination of the war with the French. He died without 
issue, and his wives performed the horrid rite of suttee by immolating them- 
selves on his funeral pile. The selection of an heir was entrusted by the family 
to the Ranee of the late Raja Vijiar&m Raj. This lady chose Pusapati R^m 
Bhadra Rlj, a boy of twelve years of age, second son of her husband's cousin, 
as the successor to Anand R&j ; who assumed the name of Yijiar&m RSj, by 
which he was afterwards known. The elder brother, Slta RS.m R§j, was exclud- 
ed by Hindu law, yet owing to Vijiar&m's minority, all real authority fell into his 
hands. The influence he thus gained, he never lost, and during the greater 
portion of his life-time Yijiar&m R&j, although Raja, was in truth under the sub- 
jection of his brother. 

The young Raja was confirmed in his titles by the Nizam at Rajamandry 
in April 1760, since which year the title of Mirza, granted at the same time 
by the Nizam in virtue of a Finnan from the emperor of Dehli, has been attached 
to .the Rajaship. 

Sita R4m's first efibrts were directed to supplant the ancient Diwan, in which 
he was successful. He next proceeded to bring to terms Vengal Row, one of 
the old Bobily family, a determined opponent of the authority of the Pusapatia. 
He next made an attack on the large estates of Narain Deo of Parla 
Eemedi, while that Chief was absent on pilgrimage to Jagannath. Narain 
returned, however, with a body of five thousand Mahratta horse, and 
defended his territory with great spirit. Nevertheless, Sita R&m defeated him, 
and the issue of the struggle was the annexation of a considerable portion of 
the Ganjam District. 

After this, the two brothers, like freebooters, bent on seizing their neighbour's 
property, marched southwards into the Rajamandry Circar, which, after some 


fighting with the Nawab, they added, it is said, to their already enormous pos- 

A negotiation was now commenced between the East India Company, on 
the one side, and YijiarS^m RSj and Sitft RS.m on the other, which ended in the 
latter agreeing to pay to the former the annual sum of three lacs of rupees, as 
tribute for their country, and to resign all claims of conquest in the estates of 
Narain Deo of Kemedi. 

In the year 1775, a strong faction of leading Rachw&rs caused Slt& lUlm 
to resign his office of Diwan, on Yijiar&m Rdj's covenanting to acknowledge Sitll 
R&m's son, Narsingha Gajapati R§j, as his successor, in the event of no male 
issue being afterwards born to him. It is manifest from the whole course of 
Sita RS.m's proceedings, that, although he administered his brother's estates with 
great tact and energy, he had, nevertheless, by his overbearing arrogance made 
himself very obnoxious to him. Vijiar&m RSj was, therefore, glad to be at last 
delivered from a yoke that had become intolerable. 

But Sita RS.m was not to be shelved so summarily. On the appoinment of 
Sir Thomas Rumbold to the Governorship of Madras, Raja Vijiar&m RAj, and 
many other landholders, were summoned to Madras, in order that arrangements 
for the collection and payment of tribute and revenue might be made with 
them personally. Sita RS,m found this to be the opportunity he had desired. 
There is good ground for the belief, moreover, that, when he went to Madras, 
he took with him' a large sum of money, which he distributed with great 
adroitness, and, further, that while there he entered into engagements for 
additional payments to those persons who signally aided him in his projects. 
Whatever may have been the means he employed, it is certain that he succeeded 
in attaining his own ends, and in utterly defeating those of his brother. * Sir 
Thomas Rumbold re-instated him in the post he formerly held. 

The Court of Directors, to their honour, repudiated the arbitrary and hai'sh 
course taken by the Governor. " Our surprise and concern were great," they 
write on the 10th January, 1781, "on observing the very injurious treatment 
which the ancient Raja of Vizianagram received at the Presidency, when, deaf 
to his representation and entreaties, you, in the most arbitrary and unwarrant- 
able manner, appointed his ambitious and intriguing brother, Slt& Rdm RSj, 
Diwan of the Circars, and thereby put him in possession of the services of his 
elder brother, who had just informed you that he sought his ruin. 

A Resolution moved by Mr. Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville, in the House 
of Commons, on the 25th April 1782, was to the same effect — ^' that the 


Governor and a majority of the Council of Fort Saint George did by menace^s 
and harsh treatment compel YijiarUm BSj, the Raja of Yijianagar, to employ 
Stta Rim RSj as the Diwan, or manager, of his zemindary, in the room of 
Jaggannath, a man of probity and good character ; that the compulsive menaces 
made use of towards the Raja, and the gross ill-treatment which he received at 
the Presidency, were humiliating, unjust, and cruel, in themselves, and highly 
derogatory to the interests of the East India Company, and to the honour of 
the British nation." 

Slta R4m was ejected from his office, and, eventually, under the orders of 
the Government, took up his residence in Madras. His brother, the Raja, left 
to his own weak judgment, was deficient in all the qualities necessary to his high 
and important position. Stta Rkm had proved himself an obstinate, self-willed, 
tyrannical steward, yet he had administered the Raja's estates with singular 
sagacity, and had kept him from difficulties in his relations with the Indian Govern- 
ment. The estates were now mismanaged, and were soon incapable of paying 
the enhanced tribute imposed upon them. The consequence was, that, first of all, 
remonstrances, and, then, threats, were employed to obtain it from the Raja. 
On his part, VijiarS^m Raj, unable to appreciate the danger he was courting, neg- 
lected the demands of the Government, and at length defied its authority. There- 
upon, the Governor of Madras determined to bring him to reason by force. 
Troops were led out against him, and on the 10th July 1792, a severe conffict 
took place between them and the Raja's men, which ended in the death of the 
Raja and of many of his followers. 

The Raja had placed the ladies of his family with his young son, Narain 
Babu, a boy of eight years of age, at a village four miles distant from the 
scene of the engagement; and on the eve of the battle, he sent instructions 
to the boy, to surrender himself to the British force and the Madras Council, 
in case of his own death. After the battle, however, the child was carried away 
by his attendants, and notwithstanding that Sir Charles Oakley, Governor of 
Madras, gave repeated assurances in writing that if he surrendered he would 
be protected, and would receive all the respect due to his rank, yet the relatives 
of the lad listened to none of the overtures thus made. The Governor, being 
wearied with their foolish and pertinacious opposition, issued a final order, that he 
was to return to his own country within the space of thirty days. This order 
also, like the rest, was disobeyed. 

Had it not been for a change in the Government of Madras at this time, 
there is ground for supposing, that the family of the late Baja Yijiar&m RSj 


would have come to ruin. Sir C. Oakley was succeeded by Lord Hobart ; the 
Provisional Council was abolished; and Collectorates were established. The 
Government issued a proclamation, calling upon the Hill Poligars to return 
peaceably to their respective villages, guaranteeing to them a consideration of 
their just claims. Before the close of 1796, agreements had been made with most 
of the Hill landholders. Narain RSj was ordered to pay four lacs of rupees, or 
forty tiiousand pounds, by way of compensation for the claims of the Company 
against his late father, and his estates were at the same time greatly curtailed. 

At the Permanent Settlement the sum of five lacs was fixed as the annual 
tribute to be paid by Narain R&j, exclusive of the revenue from salt, sugar, 
port dues, and other imposts. Moreover, the Government granted to Narain 
Efij the following title, Mirza Raja Sri Pusapati Narayana Gajapati RSj 
Bahidur Manea Sultan, Zemindar of Yizianagram, together with a salute of 
nineteen guns whenever he visited the chief authorities in the district. 

By the year 1817 the Raja had incurred a debt of twelve lacs of rupees. 
He therefore requested the Government to take charge of his estates until the 
debt was paid ofiT, under the stipulation that he should meanwhile receive eighty 
thousand rupees a year for his personal expenses. The debt was cleared off in 
the year 1822, and the estates were restored to their owner. 

In 1827 the Raja again made over his estates to the Government, and pro- ' 
ceeded to Benares on an allowance of one lac of rupees a year. There he 
resided until 1845, when he died. His debts, however, instead of diminishing, 
had increased from seven lacs to eleven, a considerable portion of which was 
contracted during his residence in Benares. 

The present Maharaja Yijiar&m Gajapati RSj visited his estates in 
Yizianagram for the first time in 1848, when, on his entering the Fort, he was 
received with , a salute of nineteen guns, fired from the cantonments by order 
of Government. In 1862 the estates were handed over to the Maharaja free 
of debt, and with a surplus of upwards of two lacs of rupees. In 1863 the 
Maharaja was requested by Sir John Lawrence, the Viceroy and Governor 
General, to become a Member of the Legislative Council of India ; and in the 
following year was created a Maharaja, as a personal distinction, in consideration 
of his liberality in endowing a hospital in Yizagapatam, to the extent of 
twenty thousand rupees, and of the example which he had set to neighbouring 
Zemindars^ or landholders, in the general good management of his estates. The 
further honour has been recently conferred upon him, of Knight Commander of 
the Star of India. 


For the princely sums which the Maharaja devotes to public institutions in 
Madras, Bengal, and the North-Western Provinces, and for the great public spirit 
he displays in promoting the prosperity of the country generally, it is unquestion- 
able that he occupies the very highest position among the nobles of India. 
Only lately he has erected a new Dispensary in Benares, and has engaged to 
build a Town Hall, at a cost of not less than five thousand pounds. Yet this 
generosity is insignificant compared with one act of large-handed and splendid 
liberality which he performed in the early part of the past year, in offering 
to present twenty thousand pounds to the Medical College of Allahabad, which it 
was proposed to establish. Although this object has not been sanctioned by the 
Governor General in Council, yet the sum is not withdrawn, but is offered for 
some other object in connection with the proposed Allahabad University. The 
Maharaja is, moreover, not merely an ornament of native society in Benares and 
elsewhere, but by his excellent knowledge of English, his great politeness, his 
fondness for field sports, and his general manliness of character, is cordially 
welcomed everywhere among the Europeans settled in the country. 


Descended from the brothers, Sri Pusapati Rdmavartna and Mddhavarma, who formerly 

ruled over the KaHnga Country. 

L Raja Raghunadhady, A. D. 1652. 
U. Rnja Sit& R&m Chaadrulu, A. D. 1685. 

m. Raja Ananda R4j 1696. lY. Raja Tamonir&j, 1696. 

y. Raja Vaneatapatir&j, 1699. YI. Raja Anandarfij, 1699. I 

VII. Sita R&m R&j, 1717. Yin. Raja Peda Yijearfim, 1731. ' 

IX. Raja Ananda R&j, 1756. 

X. Raja Yijiaram Gajapati Rl^', 1762. 

XL Raja Naninga Gajapati R&j. XIL Raja Naraina Gajapati R6j, 1796. 

Xin. The present Maharaja Yijiarftm Gajapati Rftj, 

recognized in the room of his fitther, 1845. 


Kumar Maharaja Narain Gajapati R&j, Kumar Maharaja Anand Gajapati Raj, bom 

bom February 10th, 1850, died Sept- December SUt, 1850. 

ember 29 th, 1863. 

Also Maharaj Kumarika Appala Kundajja Devi, bom 
Febraary 17th, 1849; married, July 11th, 1866, to KumAr 
Maharaja Rftma Rftj Singh, heir apparent and cousin of the 
Maharaja of Rewah. 




This is reputed to be a branch of the Slsodiya Rajpoots. They are very 
numerous in the Kop&chit pargannah of the Ghazipur district, where they hold 
possession of about two hundred villages. They affirm that the name Eitrchiiliya, 
which is derived from the Sanskrit ^ kar/ a hand, and ^ chalinS^' to make use 
of, was given them by the emperor AUauddin, in token of their bravery. Eighteen 
generations have passed away since Hem Sh4h, the progenitor of the clan, 
founded the colony at Kop&chit ; and they are able to state the names of each in 
succession (a). A small number of Eoirchiiliya Rajpoots are also settled in the 
Banda district. 

(a) Dr. W. 01dham*8 Statistical Memoir of the Gliazipilr District, Fart 1, page 62. 



Tomara or Tuar. 

This tribe of Rajpoots is of great antiquity, and although now of little impor- 
tance, was once held in much honour. In the North- Western Provinces, where 
it formerly possessed extensive power, it numbers little more than four thousand 
souls, of whom upwards of three thousand inhabit the j^Agra district. But 
these statistics rest on the very doubtful authority of the Census Returns of 
1865. These Returns, however, are singularly inconsistent with each other* 
For instance, in one volume, the Tomars of Bulandshahr and Meerut, are said to 
be descended from Anek P&l, and to be in possession of ten villages, besides por- 
tions of other villages situated in the former district. The narrative states that 
these Tomars are of two kinds, Hindu and Mahomedan, the latter having been 
converted to Islamism as far back as the reign of Kutb-uddin (a). The next 
volume, containing the tabular list of all the tribes and castes of these provinces, 
does not represent a single Tomar as residing in those districts (6). 

The Tomars of Budaon are traditionally descended from Raja Sank PfiJ, 
who, many ages ago, conquered that part of the country, and settled in it with a 
large number of his followers. The UjhS^ni division of the district has still a 
considerable population of Tomars. They state, moreover, that their ancestors 
were subdued by Raja Hirand Psd of Kampil, since which time they have been 
styled 'Jangarah' (c). On the termination of the Tomar rule over the 
ancient kingdom of Delhi, many of the family seem to have migrated south- 
wards and settled in various parts of Gwalior, whence they pushed out to the 
northward again, and some entered what is now the Agra district (rf). In the 

(a) Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., pp. 19, 20. 
(5) Ibid, Vol. n. General Statement of Castes, No. 4, p. 11, list Towmur. 

(c) Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol I., Appendix B., p. 46. 

(d) Ibid, p. 68. 

C 1 


district of Etah the Tomars are partly descended from the Gwalior Tomars, and 
partly from Tomars who came direct from Delhi and Hastinapilr. They are 
found in numerous villages in this district, although their existence is ignored by 
the Census Tables (a). There are some also in the district of Mainpihi. 

The Tomar dynasty was reigning in Delhi when the Mahomedans first 
entered India. It commenced with Anang Fdl I, in the year 736 A. D., 
according to the traditional statement, but, in the judgment of General Cunning- 
ham, who has paid great attention to the matter, the more correct date is 733 
A. D. It lasted for a period of four hundred and nineteen years, when Delhi was 
captured by the Chauhfin Raja of Ajmere, Visala Dev&. There were nineteen 
Kings of the Tomar dynasty, of whom General Cunningham has given a list, 
with the dates of their accession, and the duration of their several reigns, in his 
Archaeological Survey of Delhi, page 16. The two royal families were united by 
the marriage of Visala Dev&'s son or grandson with the daughter of the last 
king, Anang PM III. The issue of this union was the very famous Prithi 
Raj, or Prithvi Raja, or Rai Pithora, as he is variously styled (6). This 
prince was conquered by Muazuddin S&m in 1193. 

After this, says Mr. Beames, in his account of this tribe of Rajpoots, 
in Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, "the Tomars make no mark in history tiU the 
reign of Al^uddln Khilji, or shortly after the death of that sovereign, when BJr 
Shing Deo, an obscure Tomar, became possessed of Gwalior, which had been 
previously held successively by the Eachhw&has, the Parih&rs, and the Maho- 
medans. After him a long line of illustrious princes ruled, subject more or less 
to Musalman influence, among whom Dungar Singh is noteworthy, inasmuch as 
in his reign the celebrated rock-sculptures of Gwalior were executed. They 
appear to have been sometimes at feud with, and sometimes faithftd allies of, the 
Musalman rulers of Delhi. The princes of the house of Lodi, Bahlol, Sikan- 
dur, and Ibrahim, attacked and defeated them, or were defeated by them^ several 
times in those troublous and unsettled ages. The strong fortress of Gwalior, 
however, more often defied the Mogul forces. Raja Mka Singh was a prince of 
great power and ability, and in his reign the power of the Tomars was at its 
height. He was a wise ruler, a patron of the arts, and himself a skilftd musician, 
and a beneficent administrator" (c). His successor, Vikramaditya, was 
subdued by the Mahomedans, and was killed at the battle of Panipat, fighting in 

(a) Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, VoL I^ Appendix B^ p. 94. 

(b) General Gunningham*s Archsological Sonrej, pp. 16 — 23. 

(c) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 163. 


their behalf. He is supposed to have possessed the celebrated Eohinoor dia- 
mond, which he gave to the emperor B&bar. The family gradually sank into 
insignificance, and at length removed from Gwalior and settled in UdaipClr. It 
rettuns, however, the memory of its ancient prestige (o). 

The Tomars, although once so powerful and illustrious, possess now no 
independent territory. Yikramaditiya, who established the Sambat era, dating 
from the year 56 B. C, is believed, on good grounds, to have sprung from this 
tribe. " The chief possessions left to the Tu&rs," remarks Colonel Tod, " are the 
district of Tu&rgar, on the right bank of the Chumbal towards its junction with 
the Jumna, and the small chieftainship of Patau Tud,rvati, in the Jaipiir State, 
and whose head claims affinity with the ancient kings of Indraprastha" (i). 

In the Grorakhpftr district are a few families of this tribe, there styled Tong&r« 
They are not of high rank in popular estimation. Small communities also are 
found in the Fathpiir district. A few likewise are met with in the districts of 
Benares and Shd.hjah&npihr. 

The tribe is divided into seventeen branches. 


The Barwar clan of Majhosi and Mani&r, in the Ghaziptir district, profess to 
be a branch of the Tomar tribe. They came thither in association with the 
Naraulia branch of the Parih&r Rajpoots, and assisted them in the expulsion of 
the Cherus. Their traditions state that they first of all settled in the Azimgarh 
district, and afterwards entered Kharid. The name ' Barwar,' they say, is derived 
from Bamagar, formerly the principal village of the tribe. Other Barwars are 
found at DeochandpAr, a village in the Saidpftr pargannah of the Ghazipftr 
district ; and others still at Bftriptir in the Ghapra district (c) . 

"It is worthy of notice," says Dr. W. Oldham, "that the Barwars of 
Majhosi and of ManiSr tuppehs^ though they claim a common origin, are entirely 
distinct from each other. They will only eat together on the occasion of some ^ 
great gathering, when the people of the other clans of the pargannah are pre- 
sent. The population of Mani&r, the chief town of the Barwars, is 6,124. It is 
the seat of an extensive grain trade " (d). 

(a) Elliofs Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, pp. 163-64« 

( 5 ) Tod*8 Rajasthan, Vol. L, pp. 88, 89. 

( c ) Dr. W. 01dham*8 Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipur District, Fart I., p. 61. 



Although the ES^thorshave lost much of their ancient renown, nevertheless, 
they are still reckoned among the most distinguished of the Rajpoot tribes. 
At the period of the first Mahomedan incursions into Hindustan, they ruled over 
E^anouj, which was then a flourishing kingdom, surpassing in power and influence 
all other states in the country. It is impossible to define the exact limits of the 
Kanoujiya kingdom at that time; but there is reason to believe that it embraced a 
considerable portion of the tract now called the North Western Provinces. The 
present house of JoudhpAr boasts its descent from the EAthor monarchs. Many of 
the subordinate chiefs of the Raja of Joudhpiir's territory are of the same race. 

The R&thor dynasty of Marw&r was established by Sevajl, son of Jai 
Chand, whose descendants for many years maintained a high character for their 
bravery and heroism. * The Mogul emperors were indebted for half their con- 
quests to the L&kh TalwIU- RAhtoria, the hundred thousand swords of the 
R&thors.' Rai Sing of this tribe was a famous captain in the armies of Akbar. 
His father, Khaly&n Mall, received Akbar with great respect at Ajmere, in the 
fifteenth year of his reign, and then entered his service (a). 

The RS^thors are divided into twenty-four principal clans, descendants, tradi- 
tion affirms, of Kusha, a twin son of RS^ma. Some of these are as follows : 
Dhandal, Bhadail, Chakkit, Duhariya, Khokr&, BaddrS., Chaijrfi,, R&mdeo, Kabriya, 
HattAndiya, M&l&wat, Sundu, Kataicha, Maholi, Gog&deo, Mahaicha, Jaisingh, 
Mursiya, and Jor& (5). These branches are found, for the most part, in Raj- 
pootana ; and, if any reliance is to be placed in the statistics obtained by the 
Government, exist only in small numbers in the North -Western Provinces. Here 
they are said to be fewer than five thousand persons, three-fourths of whom are in 
the districts of Cawnpftr and Gorakhpftr. But this is, doubtless, an error. Tod says 
that a doubt hangs over the origin of this race, and that the Surajbansi bards deny 
them the honour which they claim, of being connected with the genuine Solar Race (c). 

In the district of Farakhabad, the ancestor of the RS^thors was one Karan 
Singh, who received from Shamsuddin Ghori a grant of land in Mohamadabfid, 
together with the title of Rao. Some three hundred years ago they occupied, 
in addition, the pargannah or barony of ImratpAr, and founded the villages of 
R&japiir, R&thorl, and others (rf). 

( a ) Ain i Akbari, Mr. Blochmann*8 Translation, Vol. I., p. 357. 

( 6 ) Tod*8 Rajiutban, p. 88. 

(c) Ibid, 

(rf) Report of tlie Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Appendix B., p. 74. 


In the southern part of the district of Sh4hjah§,npiir the RS^thors occupy 
the village of Kajarl, which they acquired four hundred years ago by the mar- 
riage of one of the tribe with the daughter of Sahdal, a Rajpoot of Barah 
Ealan (a). 

There are a few of the tribe in the Khandaull division of the Agra district, 
whose family has resided there for the last hundred years. In the Karouli divi- 
sion of Mainpdri they possess eighty-eight villages, some of them recently 
obtained. The head of the clan in KaroMi is Chandhri Lakshmah Singh (6). In 
the last Census Report of the MainpAri district the R&thor Rajpoots are not 
even noticed ; yet one would suppose, from their possessing so many villages, 
that, at least in the tract which they occupy, they must be somewhat numerous. 

On the defeat of Raja Jai Chand of Kanouj by Mohamad Ghori his family 
seems to have sought refuge in the Barna territory, in the present district of 
Etah, which it subsequently left, and settled in Sonhar, in the same district, 
where it came in conflict with the Bhayar tribe, and defeated it. These R&thors. 
divided the Sonhar country among themselves. The Raja of R&mpftr, of the 
barony of Azimnagar, and the Rao of Khemsaipftr, of the barony of ShamsabS^d, 
are Rithors in the direct line from Jai Chand (c). There is no mention of the 
R&thors in the last Census Report of the Etah district. A small colony of 
them is located on the right bank of the Sot, in the Kbt pargannah of the 
Budaon district. 

A small community of this tribe is said to reside in the Benares district^ 
but the insignificance of its numbers is suflScient reason for its influence not being 
felt. Only one family is to be found in the city of Benares. 

The Rfi,thors are of the Sandil gotra or order. 

Members of this tribe inhabit the Gorakhpiir district ; but, strange to say, 
they are regarded as much inferior to some other Rajpoot tribes, and are not 
permitted to intermarry with them (rf). 

Kachhwdhd or Kashwdhd. 

Like the Rftthors, but on better grounds, this tribe of Rajpoots is also said 
to be descended from RUma, King of Ajudhiya, through his twin son Kusha, 
from whose lineage the present Maharaja of Jaipur professes to have sprung. 

( a ) Report of the Census of the North- Western ProTinces, for 1865, Appendix B., p. 56. 

( h ) Ibid, p. 78. 

( c ) Ihid, p. 93. 

{d) Buchanan's Eastern India, Vol. 11., p. 458. 


The tribe prevaila in the eoiuitrj of Jaipur, sometimes called Amber, and is very 
numerous in the capital city of that name. It is traditionally affirmed, that the 
ancient seat of the EachhwS,h&s, down to the period of Baja Nala, was Nar- 
wargarah, when the fort of Amber became their chief abode, and remained so 
for many centuries until the time of Raja Sawai Jai Singh, who built the city 
of Jaipiir (a). In taking possession of the Amber territory, they expelled 
dierefrom the Mtna and Badgiijar tribes (b). 

Respecting the primitive history of the Kachhw&hS.s, Mr. Beames, on the 
authority of General Cunningham, states, ^' that their original seat was Euntip&ra 
or EutwS.. One of their kings, Suraj Sen, is alleged to have founded the city 
of Gwalior, forty miles south-east of Kutw4r; and they became independent 
under Vajra DS^ma, one of whose inscriptions is dated A. D. 977. They retained 
the sovereignty of Gwalior, together with that of Narwar, till 1129, whenTej- 
karan, ^ the bridegroom prince,' as he is called, eighty -fourth in descent from 
Suraj Sen, left his capital of Gwalior, and went to Deora, to marry the king's daugh- 
ter of that place, and was so charmed with her society that he never returned^ 
His nephew, Parimtl, a FarihS^ra, supplanted him in Gwalior and Narwar. The 
KachhwS^his then migrated to Dundar (or Jaipiir, as it was subsequently called,) 
where they established themselves a new principality " (c). 

We learn from the Atn i Akbari, that E^chhw&hS. nobles were in high posi- 
tion in the Court of Akbar. Baja BihS^rt Mall of this tribe, was the first Raj- 
poot, says Mr. Blochmann, that joined Akbar's Court. The emperor gave him the 
command of five thousand troops. Three sons of the Raja were in Akbar's service, 
namely, BhagwS.n DSs, Jagann4th, and Salhadi (</). Raja Bhagw&n DSs was 
also, like his father, commander of five thousand men, and Governor of Zabulis- 
tin. His daughter was married to prince Salim, eldest son of the emperor; the 
ofispring of which marriage was Prince Khusrau (e). Raja M&n Singh, a 
son of Raja Bhagwan D^s, was one of the most illustrious men of the time. He 
was born at Amber, the ancient home of the family, and was one of Akbar's 
great generals and governors. At his death sixty of his fifteen hundred wives 
immolated themselves on the funeral pile (/). Rai S&l Darbd^rt was another 
Kachhw^hS, in Akbar's service. He was in charge of the royal harem. During 

(a) Census of the NorUi-Westem ProYinces for 1865, Vol. 1., Appendix B., p. 17. 

(b) Elliot's Supplemental Glossarj, Vol. I., p. 158. 

(c) 7Wrf, p. 158, 59. 

i^d) Ain i Akbari, Mr. Blochinann*s Translation, Vol. I., pp. 328, 329. 

( e ) Ibid, p. 333. 

(/) Ibid, p. 339—341. 


the reign of Jahftnglr, Akt)ar's sod, he was sent on an expedition to the Dakhin. 
Bai Singh entered early Akbar's service ; for he was present in the battle of 
Ehairab&d) in the fight at Sam&l, and accompanied the emperor on his forced 
march to Patan and Ahmadabftd (a). 

The tribe is divided into twelve clans, which are found scattered abont in 
many parts of the country. In the district of Bulandshahr, Kachhw&h& land- 
holders exist in the Khurja division ; and Eachhw&h& cultivators inhabit the 
villages of Manikpftr and Ehalilpftr Bath, in the Baran division. A few of the 
race have of late years entered the Agra district, and settled in Kheragarh. 
There are some also at Devapikra close to the city of Mainpftrt. These state that 
they came originally from beyond the Chambal, and that the reason of their 
quitting their native country was, the marriage of a KachhwS,h& Rajpoot into the 
family of the Baja of MainpOrl (b). Rhot&s on the Sone was also founded by 

The tribe is represented, says Mr. A. O. Hume, in the district of Etawah. 
^^ The Eaurs of Baylah were once rather important landholders, and, with 
their mrmerous kinsmen, still hold Baylah itself, and a few other villages. They 
are Kadihw&hSs, of the same ^nmily, if we are to believe them, as the Baja 
of B&mpdra, in Jalaun ; and they claim, of course, like the rest of their clan, to 
be descended from Kusha, one of the sons of R^ma. The KachhwS,h&s appear to 
have emigrated at an early period from Gwalior, or its neighbourhood, to that 
tract of countiy now known as Eachhwaihi Ghar. Thence, in 1656 A. D., came 
one Ajab Singh, who took service with the then Baja of Bi^r6, and later, through 
his master's influence, obtained possession of Baylah and other villages. 
Besides this family, there are a good number of this caste (all emigrants from 
Eachhwaihi Ghar) sprinkled here and there about the eastern pargannahs of 
this district ; but none are landholders of any importance, and none seem to 
have resided here for more than two hundred years" (c). In this district 
there were, in 1865, according to the Census Eetums, nearly six thousand mem- 
bers of this tribe of Bajpoots. The territory called by Mr. Hume Eachhwaihi 
Ghar (more properly Eachhwaihi Garh, from garh^ a fort), lies between the 
Sindh and Pahauj rivers, and was ceded to the Indian Government in 1844 by 
Scindiah, in consideration of his receiving a British contingent (d). 

( a ) Ain i Akbari, Mr. Blochmann's Translation, Vol . I., pp. 4) 9, 420. 

(6) Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., pp. 17, 68, 77. 

(c) Ihid^ Memoracdum of Mr. A. O. Hume, p. S5, 

{d) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 158. 


The Kachhw&h&s claim to have once had possession of three hundred and 
sixty villages in the district of Muzafiamagar. " This," says Sir H. Elliot, 
^' may have been the case, for amongst those who went to aid the ChauhS.n 
Prince Bisal Deo, in his invasion of Gujerat, we find the Kachhw&h&s of Antar- 
bed enumerated ; and as they are not found in any numbers elsewhere in the 
Doab, except in Etawah, those of Muzaffarnagar are perhaps indicated. But 
they must have been in much greater strength than they are now, whether we 
consider them as occupants of Muzaffarnagar or Etawah, to have been honoured 
with any notice in such a gathering of Rajpoots. The mention of the 
Kachhw§.h4s of Antarbed, in the middle of the eleventh century, is interesting, 
as showing that those of Amber had not yet risen into notice ; and that those 
of Narwar, who are recorded by Chand as proceeding to the defence of Chittore 
in the beginning of the ninth century, must have been on the decline" (a). 
In the Census Report for 1865, the Kachhw&h&s of Muzaffarnagar are unnoticed. 

This tribe is also found at Akbarpftr, Tamraura, and SekandarpOr, in the 
district of Etah. In Jalaun it is represented by Raja M&n Singh, of R&mpAr, 
who is the proprietor of an estate free of revenue, valued at three thousand 
pounds a year. The Raja of Gop^lpiir, and the Raja of Sikrt, now in needy 
circumstances, are of the same tribe. Some of the finest soldiers in the old 
Sepoy army irere Kachhw&h& Rajpoots (i). 

Colonies of Kachhw&hds are met with more or less in Cawnpdr, Etawah, 
Azimgarh, Jaunpiir, and other places in these provinces. 

( a ) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, p, 158. 

{b) Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., pp. 95, 96. 





There are four tribes of Agnikulas, as follows ; 
I. Framara, called also Fonwar and Fomar. 
n. Farihara. 

III. Cli&lukiya or Solankhi. 

IV. Chauhan. 

These will be described in order. 

First Division of the Agnikulas or Fike Races. 

Pramaraj Ponwar^ Puar or Pomar. 

In ancient times the Framaras were amongst the most powerful of the Raj- 
poot tribes. * The world is the Framar's,' remarks Colonel Tod, is an ancient 
saying, denoting their extensive sway. He also gives the names of some of the 
most important capitals of the kingdoms they either conquered or founded, 
such as, Maheshwar, Dh&r, Ujain, Chittore, Abu, and Chandravati. ' Though 
the Framara family never equalled in wealth the famous Solanki princes of 
Anhalw&ra, or shone with such lustre as the Chauh&n, it attained a wider range 
.and an earlier consolidation of dominion than either, and far excelled, in all, the 
Parihftra, the last and least of the Agnikulas, which it long held tributary/ 
The Framaras took possession of Maheswar, the capital of the Haiya kings, in 
which apparently they first exercised regal authority. ' The era of Bhoj, the 
son of Munj,' says Colonel Tod, 'has been satisfactorily settled; and an 
inscription in the nail-headed character carries it back a step farther, and elicits 

D 1 


an historical fact of infinite value, giving the date of the last prince of the 
Pramaras of Chittore, and the consequent accession of the Gahlots' (a). 

^ The nine gems ' will always be associated in Hindu literature . with the 
name of Bhoj Pramara. The first Chandragupta mentioned in Hindu annals^ 
who was contemporary with Alexander the Great, was of the Mori branch of 
this tribe. The Moris were held to be of the Takshak or Serpent Race. The 
power and infiuence of the Pramara tribe are represented in the following 
analysis of its branches prepared by Colonel Tod : 

Branches of the Pramara Tribe. 

1. Mori— of which was Chandragupta, and the princes of Chittore prior to the Ghihlota. 

2. Soda— Sogdi of Alexander, the princes of Dhat in the Indian desert 

3. Sankla — Chiefs of Pugal ; and in Marw&r. 

4. Khair — Capital Ehair&lu. 

6. Umra and Sumra — Anciently in the desert, now Mahomedans. 

6. Vihil or Bihil — ^Princes of Ohandravati. 

7. Maipawat — Present chief of Bijolli in Mew&r. 

8. Bnlh&r — ^Northern desert. 

9. Kab& — Celebrated in Sanrashtra in ancient times: a few yet in Sirani. 

10. Ummata — ^The princes of Ummatwara in Malwa there established for twelve generations. 
XTmmatw8.r& is the largest tract lefl; to the Pramaras. Since the war in 1817, being under the British 
interference, they cannot be called independent. 

11. Behar, 

\ Grasia petty chiefs in Malw&. 
18. Soratiah, ^ ^ ^ 

14. Harair, 

Besides others unknown, as Chaonda, Ehejar, Sagra, Barkota, Puni, S&mpfil, 
Bhtba, Klllpusar, Kalmoh, Kohila, PapS,, Kahoriya, Dhand, Deba, Barhar, Jtpra, 
Posra, Dhdnta, Rikamva, and Taika. Most of these are proselytes to Islamism, 
and several are beyond the Indus (&). 

Sir John Malcolm affirms, that, in ancient times, this race was the most 
celebrated of all the Rajpoot tribes of Central India. But he adds, the Prama- 
ras haying intermarried into Mahratta Sudra families, have become degraded 
in rank, so ^ that the poorest of the proud Rajpoot chiefs, whom they count 
among their dependants, would disdain to eat with them, or to give them a 
daughter in marriage' (c). 

(a) Tod*8 Rajasthan, Yd. I., pp. 91—93. 

(ft) Ibid, pp. 91—93. 

(£) Malcolm's Centrallndia, Vol. 11., p. 130. 


This tribe of Rajpoots is found in considerable numbers in the districts of 
Agra and Cawnptkr ; and many families inhabit other districts, such as 
Banda, Allahabad, Gorakhpdr, Jaunpdr, Azimgarh, Jh&nst, and some portions of 
Oudh. It is said that the original seat of the tribe was Ujain. Its appearance 
in the neighbourhood of Agra is thus accounted for. ^' Raja Bijip41 of Baiftna 
wished to bring about an alliance between his daughter and the son of Tindpdl, 
of Ujain, and with this view sent an embassy with presents, Tindpil, however, 
objecting to the proposed marriage, ordered the ambassador to return, but 
his son Lakanst meeting them on his own account, accepted the proposal, and 
in spite of Tindp&l's objections, brought back the party to Bai&na, and there the 
marriage took place. Villages were then assigned to the prince and princess for 
maintenance. These, however, proving insufficient, the daughter was sent 
back to her father, some little time after, to solicit a further grant. But all 
that Tindp&l gave his daughter, was a sword, which she was instructed to 
deliver to her husband. Lakanst, then, interpreting the gift, whether rightly 
or wrongly, to mean that he should extend his possessions with its aid, seized and 
added to his territory 1400 villages, giving them over to his followers. At vari- 
ous times they have migrated northwards, their first halting-place in this district 
being the pargannah of Eheragarh, where they are zemindars and cultivators. 
They have in course of time become dispossessed of a great many of their states, 
bartering them for less substantial wealth to Goojurs and Brahmins" (a). 

The Ponwars are spread over the Jaunpiir district. They are said to have 
settled in the Jh&nsi district, in Bundelkhand, some time after the conquest 
of the country by the Bundelas. In the Farakhab&d district they have been 
attached to the pargannah of Amritpiir for the last six hundred years, where 
their ancestor, Bhftprao, obtained lands from Raja Jai Singh Deo, ruler of 
Ehor or Shamsab&d (&). There are a few in the Etah district, in the sub- 
division of Azimnagar. 

There are two colonies of this tribe in the district of Unao in Oudh. One 
is in the Morawan pargannah^ occupying thirty villages. It is said, '^ that 
their ancestor, Narhar Singh Ponwar, distinguished himself in the siege of 
Chittore, under Akbar Shah, and received a grant of this tract of land as a reward 
for his services. He founded the village of Narri-chak, which is called after 
his name. These Ponwars must have been a powerful clan once; but the 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western ProYinces, for 1865, Appendix B., pp. 67, ^. 


great endroachment of the Baises, one hundred and fifty years ago, reduced them 
to complete insignificance, and deprived them of a large portion of their land."' 

Respecting the other colony of Ponwars, " there is," says the same writer, 
" still less to be said. They are an ofishoot of the Ponwar Raj of Etonja (in 
the Lucknow district), and obtained a tract, about twelve villages, through the 
favour of Raja Newal Rai, Diwan of Newab Safdar Jang, Governor of Oudh, 
in 1740 A. D." (a). The Ponwars of Oudh have five great landholders 
who possess the privilege of a seat at the Governor General's Durbar. 

Dr. Wilton Oldham has collected some important historical facts concern* 
ing a branch of this tribe in the Ghazipftr district. " The large taltiqa of Shiva*^ 
pur Dlr, Pargannah BuUiah, belongs to a brotherhood of Ujain or Ponwar 
Rajpoots, of the Agnikula race ; and there are some fraternities of the tribe in 
the Dofi/bl and Mahaich pargannahs. The Ujains of two villages, Dayapar- 
satha and Dharaon, in the latter pargannah^ became Mussalmans during the 
empire of the Moguls. The head of the clan is the Raja of Dumraon. He 
traces back his pedigree eighty -six generations, from Raja Bikramadat, or 
Vikramajlt, from whom the Sambat era of the Hindus is reckoned. Of these 
ancestors, sixty-nine were the rulers of Ujain in M§,lwd,; and the first settler in 
the Bhojpftr pargannah of ShahabS,d was Raja Sameo Sah, from whom the 
present Raja, Maheshwar Bakhsh, is the seventeenth in descent. 

" The Raja of Dumraon owns nearly the entire of Do&bl Pargannah, 
which, at the Permanent Settlement, belonged to Shahab^d ; and as he and his 
ancestors have purchased many estates in other pargannahs^ he is now the 
largest proprietor in the district. A BhMnhar family of Pand^ Brahmans, settled 
at Bairlah in pargannah^ have for generations past been the Tahseldars, or 
land-agents, of the Dumraon family. They are now themselves a very wealthy 
and powerful family; and became, by auction-purchase, owners of extensive 
estates in pargannahs Kharid, Kop&chit, and Mahaich. The Dumraon estates 
are badly managed; the tenantry are always discontented; and the Raja never 
has a rupee to spare. The present Raja, Maheshwar Bakhsh, with a view of 
adopting the life of a religious recluse, made an attempt to resign in favour of his 
son, which the Government would not confirm. From want of energy of mind, 
and possibly of physical courage, he is sometimes called the Banya Raja, and has 
not much influence in the country* His kinsman Babu Kdnr Singh, a man of 
embarrassed means, but of great courage and energy, was always looked upon as 

(a) Mr. Elliott*8 Chronicles of Oonao, pp. 55, 56. 


the real chief of the Ujain tribe. As is well known, he became a conspicuous 
rebel, was shot while crossing the Ganges, and died in his house at Jagdispdr. 

" The great Raja Siladitya, who, in the beginning of the seventh century^ 
overthrew the Gupta dynasty, was Raja of MS^lwS,, and no doubt belonged to 
this clan. His name is not to be found in the Dumraon pedigree. This, how- 
ever, is easily accounted for, owing to the common practice of styling the same 
person by more than one name. Thus King Asoka, in his columns, is called 
Priyadarsi, and most of the Gupta sovereigns had two names. Pargannah 
Bhojpdr, in Shahab&d, is said to take its name from Bhoj Raja, tenth in descent 
from Raja Bikramadat. It is inhabited by a numerous clan of Ujain Pon- 
wars" (a). 

The Ponwars are found in the Fathpdr district, in , considerable numbers, 
but the Census Returns make no allusion to them. Those in the pargan- 
nahs of Ghazipdr Khts, Mahammadp(!kr, and some other places, are said to be 
descended from Purba Rai Singh, who received a present of lands from Ghazt 
EJi&n, the Nazim of that day, after whom the pargannah of Ghazipftr has been 

named {b). 

The Ponwar race was expelled from Ujain, it is supposed, by the emperor 
Shahab-ud-dln Ghorl, together with their leader Raja Mitrsen, and became 
scattered in different directions. Some of them settled in what is now the 
Bulandshahr district, and their descendants are found in the pargannahs of 
Dibbat and Jlwar. The Khidmatiyas, a low class of Rajpoots, are an offshoot 
of them. This tribe inhabits three villages in the Baran pargannah of the same 

district (c). 

It is numerous in the district of ShS,hjahS,npftr, where it is designated 
Pomar, and holds from seventy to eighty villages in two pargannahs. The 
Ponwars of Gorakhpftr came originally from the west, and settled at Balwa, where 
they received a grant of several villages from the Raja of MajhauU. Ponwars 
from Gwalior have resided for many years in association with the Bais Rajpoots, 
at Gh&tampAr, in the district of Cawnpftr. They are said to have come there 
ori^nally in company with Hasua Deo, Raja of HamirpAr, in Bundelkhand. 
They were lately in possession of fifteen villages in the pargannah. 

Members of this tribe are found in Benares, but they are few in number. They 
profess to have come from Dhtiranagar. The Pramaras are of the Easyap gotra. 

(a) Dr. W. Oldham's Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipiir District, pp. 56, 67. 

(b) Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Appendix B., p. 105. 

(c) Ibid, p. 17. 



The Dore Rajpoots are said to be descendants of the Ponwars. One of the 
Rajas of Mainpftrl having offered his head to the Gadls Dehi, was called 
Dhund after his death ; and his successors were called Dores. At present, the 
Hindu representatives (for some have become Mahomedans) of the Dore clan are 
found at Deoganw, Bhainsakhar, and Bahampftr, in the Bulandshahr districts (a). 
In the Morlldab&d district also are more than two hundred families of this tribe. 

Second Division of the Aqnieulas or Fire Races. 


This is the least famous of the Agnikulas. Although not occupying the 
first position in ancient times, they were, nevertheless, a tribe of considerable 
power. Their capital was Mandawar, formerly the chief city of Marw&r, which was 
once subject to them, before its occupation by the RS-thors. They are still a 
numerous tribe, and abound in many parts of these provinces. They are found in 
the south-eastern tract of the Agra district in association with the Bhadaurias ; 
but their settlement there appears to be of recent date. In the Etawah district 
they inhabit the country to the south of the Kuftri and Chambal rivers, called 
the Taluqa Sandaus. This region is full of ravines, and therefore difficult of 
access. Consequently, the Parih&rs, taking advantage of their position, " have 
ever been a peculiarly lawless and desperate community. Nay, they even 
ventured some fifty years ago to murder Lieutenant Maunsell, who was then on 
duty with Mr. Halhed in pursuit of thugs, of whom Sandos had long been one 
of the chief strongholds." 

^^ The great ancestors of these Parih&rs, says Mr. Hume, was Belan Deo. 
From him, in the seventh generation, descended Nahir Deo, one of whose four- 
teen sons, Puop Sing, founded this particular clan, who were then located in 
Biana, Zillah (district of) AmritpAr. Very early in the eleventh century, and 
consequent on (though why consequent, none can explain) the defeat of Anang 
F&l by Mahmud of Ghaznl, Samit Rai, the then surviving head of the house, 
fled to Sandos, and colonized the country thereabouts, which his clan still con- 
tinue to occupy. Besides their thirteen or fourteen villages in Sandos, a few 
villages in Bhartenan, Dalelnagar, &c., have from time to time been occupied, 
and are now inhabited by ofishoots of the Sandos clan. In quite recent times two 
families of Parih&rs, represented at the .present moment by Lala Laik Singh, of 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western Froyinces, for 1865, Vol I.^ Appendix B. ; acooontof 
Castes of Etawah bj Mr. A, O. Hume, p. S6. 


HarchandpAr, and Raja Bijai Singh, of Malhajanl, have risen into importance in 
the Pheeptind and Etawah pargannahs, by marriages into the Sengarh and Chauh&n 
£unilies respectively, to whom they owe alike their lands and titles " (a). 

In the Jh&nst and Hamtrpiir districts, and contiguous Native States, this tribe 
occupies twenty -seven villages, the head man of the tribe living at Jignl, a pseudo- 
independent State on the right bank of the Dassan river. The Paribus of the 
Jh&nst district are said to have sprung from Gobindeo and Sarangdeo, grandsons 
of Raja Jdjhar Singh, the traditional head of the family. They have been 
inhabitants of that tract of country for ages, even from before the Bundela con- 
quest. They came, in all likelihood, from Marw&r, of which country they held 
possession to the beginning of the twelfth century (5). The Parih&rs of Hamlrpftr 
were in that portion of the district anciently called Garhkattar, several generations 
subsequent to Sarang Deo. This chief had two wives. The descendants of the 
first inhabited the country west of the Dassan; and of the second, the places 
known as Jignl and Malehta. By degrees they spread over the district (c). 

Dr. Buchanan regards the Parih&rs of Gorakhpilr and Shah&bad as originally 
Bhars, yet he says the Bhars do not pretend to any relationship with the Parih&rs, 
and the latter are held to be not only a pure, but a high Rajpoot tribe (d). 

Mr. C. A. Elliott, formerly Assistant Commissioner in Oudh, and latterly 
Secretary to the Government of the North- West Provinces, in his admirable little 
work entitled * Chronicles of Oonao,' has given a very interesting and exceedingly 
important account of the Rajpoot tribes settled in the district of Unao in the 
Province of Oudh. Respecting the Parihd^rs, he says, that they form one of the 
four Agnikulas, or Rajpoot tribes bom out of fire. He prefaces his further 
remarks on this clan by a quotation from the works of Colonel Tod respecting 
the creation of these four tribes, observing that ^ it is too grand and impressive 
to be omitted.' ^^ When the Daityas (or evil demons) made a determined attack 
on the sacred mount Abu, the Munis (or devotees), who reside there, created 
four tribes for their defence. They kindled a sacred fire, and assembling round 
it, prayed for aid to Mahadeo. From the fire-fountain a figure issued forth ; but 
he had not a warrior's mien. The Brahmans placed him as a guardian of the 
gate, and called him Prithi-dw&ra (Earth's door), or ParihS,ra.^ 

(a) Report of the Gensas of the North- Western ProTinees, for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B. ; aoconnt of 
Caates of Etawah by Mr. A. O. Home, p. 85. 

(b) Ibidy^. 100. 

(c) Ibid, p. 108. 

(d) Buchanan*8 Eastern India, Vol. IL, p. 463. 


^^ A second issued forth, and being formed in the palm of the hand (challft), 
was called Chalftk. A third appeared, and was named Pramara. He had the 
blessing of the Rishis, and with the others went against the demons ; but they 
did not prevail. 

^^ Again, Yasishta, seated on the lotus, prepared incantations — again he called 
the gods to aid — and as he poured forth the libation, a figure arose, lofty in 
stature, of elevated front, hair like jet, eyes rolling, breast expanded, clad in 
armour, with 'his quiver filled, a bow in one hand, and a brand in another, four- 
handed, whence his name, ChauhS^n. 

^^ Yasishta prayed that his hopes might be fulfilled. As the ChauhS^n was 
despatched against the demons, Susti-devi, on her lion, armed with the trident, 
descended and bestowed her blessings on the Chauh&n, and promised to hear his 
prayer. He went against the demons ; their leaders, he slew. The rest fled 
nor halted till they reached the depths of hell. The Brahmans were made 
happy; of his race was Prithi Raja (Prithora)." 

Mr. Elliott proceeds to narrate various incidents concerning the Parihftrs of 
Unao. " The Parih&rs at the time of Shah4b-ud-dln Ghorl (1194 A. D.) were 
in possession of Mandawar, the capital of Marw&r ; and received with hospitality 
the fugitive RS^thors, whom the Mahomedan invader had driven from Eanouj . 
Their hospitality was repaid with treachery ; and the Parih4rs, in their turn, 
were expelled from MarwS.r by their guests, and never rose to any distinction 
again. The present ParihS^rsin the Oonao district inhabit the Pargannah of S&rost, 
or, as it has) recently become habitual to call it, Sekandarpur, and possess the 
mystic number of eighty-four villages, a tract of land which is called a ChaurS^si. 
Strictly speaking, tjiey possess eighty-three ; but it is possible that one village 
may have been washed away by the Ganges without any record of it remaining. 
According to their local traditions, they came from a place called Jigni, which 
is not to be found on the map, or Srinagar, that is Cashmere. 

" This is a curious instance of the immense vitality of traditions. In a 
book called the Ehoman Rdsa, which was written in the ninth century, to com- 
memorate the defence of Chittore by Ehoman against the Mahomedans, a 
list is given of the tribes who came to assist in the defence, and among them 
we find the Parih&ra from Cashmere (a). From that high hill country they 
were driven, we know not by what cause, to inhabit the sandy plains of Marw&r ; 
expelled thence, they were broken into innumerable little principalities, which 
found no abiding place, and have undergone continual changes, till we meet 

(a) Tod's Rajasthan, Vol. I., p. 248. 


With a small portion of the clan, who settled comparatively a short time ago in 
a little comer of Oudh, and even here the name of the beautiful valley, from 
which they came ten centuries ago, is still common in the mouths of men. 

" The story of the settling of the ancestors of the clan in Sarosl is thus 
told. About three hundred years ago, in the time of Humayun, king of Delhi, 
a Dikshit girl from Parenda was married to the son of the Parih§,r Baja, who 
lived in Jigni, across the Jumna. The bridegroom came with a large escort of 
his friends and brotherhood to celebrate the marriage ; and the party on their 
journey passed through Sarosl. As they sat down around a well (the locality 
of which is still shown, though the well has fallen in), they asked who were the 
lords of the fort which stood not far off. They were told, that the fort was held 
by Dhobis (washermen), and other Sudras, who owned the neighbouring 
country. The procession then went on to Parenda, and returning conducted the 
bride to her home. Just before the Holi festival, a party headed by Bhagay 
Singh returned, waited for the evening of that riotous feast, and then, when tlie 
guards of the fort were heavy with wine, and no danger was looked for, suddenly 
attacked and slaughtered them, and made themselves masters of the fort and the 
surrounding country. 

" Bhagay Singh had four sons ; and they divided the eighty-four villages he 
had conquered, at his death. Asls and Salhu, the two eldest sons, took the ^ 
largest portion of the estate, twenty villages falling to the former, and to the 
latter forty-two. The third son, Manik, was a devotee, and refused to be troubled 
with worldly affairs. All he asked for was, one village on the banks of the Ganges, 
where he might spend his life in worship, and wash away his sins, three times a 
day, in the holy stream. The youngest son, BalldS^n, was quite a boy at the 
time of his father's death, and took what share his brothers chose to give him, 
and they do not seem to have treated him badly. 

R 1 


Genealogy of the Parih&r Talugdar. 

Bhagaj Singh. 

Asia. Salhu. Manik. Balid&Q. 





Jindh Sah. 


I ' 

I i i I I 

Risal. Laik. Kalandar. Atbal. Fancham. 

(Subadar Major). [ 

The four eldest sons died childless. Oolab Singh. 

" The law of primogeniture did not exist among the family ; and every son, 
as he grew up, and married, claimed his right to a separate share of his father's 
inheritance ; and thus the ancestral estate constantly dwindled as fresh slices 
were cut off it, till at last the whole family were a set of impoverished gentle- 
men, who kept up none of the dignity which had belonged to the first conquer- 
ors, Bhagay Singh and his sons. For six generations they stagnated thus, no 
important event marking their history, till the time of Hlra Singh. The family pro- 
perty in his time had grown very small, and he had five sons to divide it amongst; 
and, to add to his misfortunes, he was accused of some crime, thrown into 
prison at Faizabad, and loaded with chains. With the chains on his leg he escaped, 
arrived safely at Jarosi, and lay in hiding there. His pride being thus broken, he 
resolved to send his third son, Kalandar Singh, to take service in the Company's 
army. He rose to be Subadar Major in the 49th Regiment of Native Infantry ; and 
in this position, through his supposed influence with the Resident, became a very 
considerable man. He knew that, as long as he was at hand, no chakladar would 
venture to treat the Parih&r Zemindars with injustice, but on his death they 
would be again at the mercy of the local authorities. He therefore collected 
all the members of the brotherhood who were descended from Asis and persuaded 
them to mass their divided holdings nominally into one large estate, of which 
his nephew Gol&b Singh should be the representative Taluqddr, so that while 
in reality each small shareholder retained sole possession of his own share, they 


should present the appearance of a powerful and united Taluqa, making Gol&b 
Smgh their nominal head. Thus the chakladars would be afraid to touch a 
man who seemed to hold so large an estate, though in reality he only enjoyed 
a small portion of it. The brotherhood consented to this, and from 1840 till 
annexation, the estate was held in the name of Golab Singh alone, and they had 
no farther trouble from the oppressions of the chakladars. 

" It must have been before this fusion of the divided holdings that an 
attack was made on the Jarosl fort by some Government troops, of which only 
a vague tradition still exists. The leader of the troops was Mustafa Beg, or, 
in the village dialect, Musakka Beg. He was killed in the assault, and his 
ghost is said still to haunt the tree under which he was standing at the time 
of his death. To this day no villager, Hindu or Mussulman, passes that tree 
without making a low salaam to Musakka Bir Baba" (a). 

The Parih&rs are divided into twelve separate families or clans. One of 
them is called Narauliya from Narwal, possibly that in the Gwalior territory. 
These are found in the GhazipAr district, and their ancestors were Khegol and 
Mingal Deo, who were in the service of Raja Malftpa, a Cherii, whom they 
killed on his insulting them in a fit of intoxication. The Narauliyas are " in- 
ordinately proud, passionate, and extravagant. They have lost a considerable 
amount of their property; but still retain probably more than half of their 
original possessions." Their chief village is Bansdth with a population of 
upwards of six thousand persons. They hold the considerable estates of Sukh- 
pftra and Kharauni (6). 

In the Allahabad district the only colony of the Parih&rs is found to 
the south of the Jumna. This branch, it is said, came originally from Mainpftrt. 
Until recently they were addicted to female infanticide. There is good reason 
to believe, however, that they have now abandoned the horrid custom, as the 
Census Returns show a proper proportion of births of the two sexes. It is 
necessary to add, that the clan has been carefully though unobtrusively watched 
for the last thirty years (c). 

This tribe is also represented by a few families in the district of Benares. 
It is of the Eiusyap gotra or order. 

(a) The Chroniclea of Oonao, by C. A. Elliott, Esq., b.c.b., pp. 56—60. 

(b) Dr. Wilton 01dliam*s Statistical Memoirs of Ghazipur, p. 61. 

(c) Report of the Census of the North-Westem Provinces, for 1865, Vol L, Appendix D., 

p. 129. 

156 the rajpoot tribes. 

Third Division of the Agnikitlas or Fire Races. 

Chalukiya or Solankhi. 
The historical celebrity of this tribe cannot be discussed in this place. Its 
numbers in these provinces are but few. Yet it is well represented by the 
Baghels^ who have sprung from it. There is ground for believing that, before 
the RS^thor monarchs commenced their rule in Kanouj, princes of this tribe 
were established at Sftra on the Ganges. Their celebrated chief, Siddh Rai Jai 
Singh, was, according to Tod, at the head of twenty-two principalities, * from 
the Karnatic to the base of the Himalaya Mountains' (a). This tribe has 
sixteen branches, respecting which the same writer gives the following 

account (6). 

Branches of the Solankhi Tribe. 



• • . 

Raja of Bhagelkhand (capital Bandugarh), Raos of Pitapiir, 
Theraud, and Adalaj, &c. 




Rao of Lunawarra. 




Kaliyanpuria Mewar, styled Rao, bat serviDg the chief of Salumbra. 



... / 

In Baru, Tekra, and Chahir, in Jessalmer, Famous robbers in the 



deserts, known as Malduts. 




Moslims about Multan, 




Mosliras in the Panjnad. 




Ditto Ditto. 




In Dekhan. 




Girnar in Saurashtra. 




Thoda in Jaipiir. 




Daisuri in Mewar. 




Allote and Jawara, in Malwa. 




Chaudbhar Sakanbari. 




No land. 





Solankhi Rajpoots are found in the district of Etah. Some say that they 
came thither from Gujer&t; others affirm that they came from Tonk. A small 
community of the race reside in the district of Benares, in the direction of Sul- 
tftnpGr; but none in the city itself. 


This clan, in the opinion of Tod and Elliot, is a branch of the Solankhi 
tribe of Rajpoots, though Wilson aflSrms that it is a branch of the Sisodiya 

(a) Tod's Rajasthan, Vol. I., p. 98. 
(5) Ihid, p. 100. 


tribe. It is agreed that these Rajpoots came originally from Gujer&t, where their 
ancestors ruled over the country, and where some of their descendants are still 
found. But their peculiar territory now is that to which they have applied 
their own name, Baghelkhand, or Rewah, lying on the line of railway to the 
south of tfie district of Allahabad. The Maharaja of Rewah is at the head of 
the Baghel clan, and is descended from Siddh Rai Jai Singh, ruler of Anhalwara 
Pattan from A. D. 1094 to 1195. "His Court," says Elliot, "was visited by 
the Nubian Geographer, Edrisi, who distinctly states that at the time of his 
visit the chief adhered to the tenets of Buddha." 

The Raja of Barrah and the Chief of Kotah also claim their descent from 
the Baghels of Gujerfl,t. Together with the Maharaja of Rewah they consider 
their common ancestor was Bagherdeo, a Gujer&t chieftain, who, in Sambat 606, 
or upwards of thirteen hundred years ago, undertook a pilgrimage from Gujer&t 
to the famous Hindu shrines in Northern India. 

This pilgrimage, says Mr. G. Ricketts, in his Report on the castes of Alla- 
habad, was, according to tradition, " abandoned by this famous chief, who 
seized on Kirwee, Banda, and the southern portions of this district, which form- 
ed the original possessions of one of his sons, from whom the Barhar Raja 
claims his descent. The name of Baghardeo^ and the name of the clan 
* Baghel,' have a common derivation in the legend, that this famous warrior 
chief was fed when a child on a tigress's milk. It is the notion of a savage 
to prefer this to the more natural food of an infant ; but the whole clan take 
great pride in this quaint tradition. A Baghel may not marry but with a Baghel 
under penalty of excommunication. The most notorious gang of dacoits who 
for three generations has infested the south of this district are of this clan ; and 
this claim of consanguinity with the Rewah Maharaja has ensured their con- 
stant protection in his territories : and certainly the savage nature of the pro- 
totype of their race has pervaded the acts of these noted robbers. Each of 
their feats has shown the extremes of craft, treachery, and the meanest cowar- 
dice. When armed, and in numbers, they have murdered the single and un- 
armed; they have beaten women, and killed children" (a). 

Among the Baghels of Rewah is a community of Mahomedans who have 
apostatized from the Hindu religion. They are the posterity of a chief who 
was warmly attached to Akbar Shah. The emperor, it is said, in return for his 
fidelity, permitted the Baghel chief to take possession of as much land as he 

(a) EUiot*8 Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, p. 50. 

Census of the North- Western FtOTinces, for 1865, VoL L, Appendix B., p. 129. 


could conquer from the aboriginal Bhars inhabiting the country across the 
Ganges. The Baghel, in token of his gratitude for the favour, embraced 
Islamism (a). 

The Rewah Baghels were possessed of considerable power and influence in 
the time of Akbar, who " in his youth was for a long time a companion of Raja 
BAm Baghel ; and whose mother was indebted to him for protection during the 
troubles of Humayun" (b). 

Baghel Rajpoots are numerous in the districts of Mirzapftr, Allahabad, and 
Banda. They are also met with in CawnpAr, Etawab, Hamirpilkr and JaunpAr; 
in Chabr&mau, TirftA, and Thattia, of Farakhab&d, — the Raja of Thattia being 
a Baghel — in Bhaddi, an extensive pargannah belonging to the Maharaja of 
Benares ; in Gorakhpftr ; and also in Soh&gpftr. 

The word * Baghel ' means tiger's cubs ; but Colonel Tod derives the word 
from * Bhkg Rao/ the assumed founder of the clan. * There are many chief- 
tainships/ he remarks, ^ still in Gujer&t of the Bhagel tribe. Of these Pitapiir 
and Tharaud are the most conspicuous' (c). 

The few families of Bhagels in the Benares district are doubtless colonists 
from the Rewah territory. They are employed in trade, and in the service of 
native chiefs. 

The Baghel tribe is said to be of the Kasyap and BhS.raddw&j gotras. 

Bhdl or Bhdld'Sultdn. 

This tribe is said to have sprung from the Solankhi Rajpoots. The family, 
according to tradition, obtained the title of BhsLlS^-Sult&n from ShahS.b-ud-dtn 
Ghorl, who conferred it on Siwai Singh, its common ancestor, for distinguished 
services performed by him in the war with Prithi Raj . ' BhS^lsl ' means a 
spear, and * Sultan,' a sovereign or lord, so that the title bears the signification 
of * spear-king.' 

The BhS,l Rajpoots of Bulandshahr claim descent from Sidhrao Jai Singh of 
Farpatan, in Gujerslt. They have been in possession of eighty-four villages in 
the Khurja pargannah of that district from time immemorial. The estate, 
however, is divided into two great branches, each consisting of forty-two villages. 
Some members of the tribe embraced the Mahomedan faith in the reign of 

(a) CensuB of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., p. 130, 
(ft) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 50. 
(c) Tod'a Bajasthan, Vol. I., p. 99. 


Akbar ; and their descendants, although recognized as Bhlll&9, have continued 
their adherence to that religion down to the present time (a). 

The Bh&l&-Sult&ns are also found in Gorakhpdr. Sir H. Elliot conjectures 
that the Bh&l&s are connected with the Ballas, who are included in the Rajkula, 
and were lords of Bhd,l in Saur&shtra. He says, moreover, that there is a 
distinction between the Bh^ and BhS^lS^-Sult&ns, the former being of inferior 
rank to the latter (6). A small colony of the tribe has settled in the dis- 
trict of Allahabad. 

(a) Report of the Censas of the North- Western Provinces, Vol. I., Appendix B., pp. 18, 19. 

(b) Supplemental Glossarj, Vol. I., pp. 16, 17. 




Fourth Division of the Aqnikulas or Fire Races. 


This tribe has twenty-four branches, as follows : ChauhS,n, H&rS^ Kbichl, 
Sonigarra, Deora, Pabia, Sanchora, GolwS^l, Bhadaurija, Narbhftn, MtlUni, 
Purbiya, Sura, Madraicha, Sankraicha, Bhuraicha, Balaicha, Passaira, Chachairah, 
Rosiah, Chanda, Nacumpa (Naikumbh), Bhawar, and Bankat (a). Sir H. Elliot 
adds to these the ThAn, Bachgott, R&jkumar, Bilkhariya, and Bandhalgotl 
clans (6). Wilson mentions other branches, such as, the Deoras of Sirohi, the 
Sonagaras of Jhalore, and the Pawaichas of Powagarh (c). 

The HS,ras, says Colonel Tod, have well maintained the ChauhS^n reputation 
for valour. Six princely brothers shed their blood in one field in the support 
of the aged Shah Jahan against his rebellious son Aurungzebe ; and of the six, 
but one survived his wounds. ' The Khtchts of Gagraun and Ragugarh,' he 
observes, ' the Deoras of Sirdhi, the Sonagaras of Jhalore, the Chauhfi.ns of 
SM Bah and Sanchore, and the Pawaichas of Pawagarh, have all immortalized 
themselves by the most heroic and devoted deeds. Most of the families yet 
exist, brave as in the days of Prithi Raj. Many of the chiefs of the Chauh&n 
race abandoned their faith to preserve their lands : the Eaim-khani, the 

(a) Tod's Rajasthan, Vol. L, p. 97. 

(&) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 63. 

(c) Wilson's Glossary, p. 434. 


Sarwdnis, the Low&nis, the Eararw&nis, and the Baidw&nas, chiefly residing in 
Shekavati, are the most conspicuous. No less than twelve petty princes thus 
deserted their faith. Ishwar Das, nephew of Prithi Raj, was the first who set 
this example' (a). 

The Chauh&n Raja, Visala Deva, of Ajmere, attacked Anang P&l III., King 
of Delhi, of the Tomara dynasty, and conquered him, about the year 1152. The 
two families were united in marriage, the oflFspring of which was the celebrated 
Prithi Raj. The Chauh&n rule in Ajmere was brought to an end by Mahomed 
Ghorl and Kutb-ud-din, in the years 1193—1195. Colonel Tod remarks, that 
*the genealogical tree of the Chauh&ns exhibits thirty-nine princes, from Anhal, 
the first created Chauh&n, to Prithi Raj, the last of the Hindu emperors of 
India.' But the chain of succession is, he conceives, imperfect. The founder 
of Ajmere was Ajipal, a name greatly celebrated in Chauh&n annals. Yet 
Sambhar, on the banks of the Salt Lake, of the same name, was probably, 
according to the same authority, anterior to Ajmere, and * yielded an epithet to 
thiB princes of this race, who were styled Sambri Rao. These continued to be 
the most important places of Chauh&n power, until the translation of Prithi 
Raj to the imperial throne of Delhi threw a parting halo of splendour over the 
last of its independent Kings' (b). 

The ChauhSns are found in many districts of the North- Western Pro- 
vinces ; but they are most numerous in Bijnour and Etawah, especially in the 
former, where they are divided into three classes, Choudhrt Chauhd^n, Padhan 
Chauh&n, and Khagl Chauhftn. The last is least in degree, and among them 
the re-marriage of widows is permitted. The only distinction between the first 
and second of these classes is, that the Choudhri Chauhans will marry the 
daughters of the Padhan Chauh&ns, but will not give their own to them. 
It is said that all these Chauh&ns of Bijnour are merely so in name, but not in 
reality, and that they are promiscuous assemblages of several clans of Raj- 
poots (c). 

The Chauhftns of Etawah appear to have entered that district about the 
year 1266 A. D., under Sumarsa, their Raja, and his two brothers, the founders 
of the Rajaships of Rajor and Mainpflrl. These were the sons of Raja Uram 

(a) Tod's RajaKthan, Vol. I., pp. 96, 97. 

(6) Ibid, pp. 95, 96. 

(c) Census Keport of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865 ; Memorandum of Knnr Luchman Singh, 

j^-)pendix B., p. 34. 

F 1 


Rao, grandsons of Hamir Shah, who was killed at the taking of Ratanpftr by 
Altamsh, in the year 1230, and descendants of the celebrated Prithi Raj. They came 
from Nlmrftnd., and took possession of the whole of the western division of the dis- 
trict. Mr. A. O. Hume, formerly Magistrate of Etawah, from whose report the 
above information has been obtained, remarks, that ^^ Pertabnere, the present head- 
quarters of the Chauhftns of Etawah, was founded by Pertab Sh&h, in the eighdi 
generation from Somer Sah ; and in the twelfth, Rajah Modh Singh abandoned the 
Etawah Fort as a residence. It continued for long to be the head-quarters of the 
representatives of the Government, tUl finally destroyed under the orders of the 
Nawab Soojah-ood-dowla,in consequence of the protest of the Etawah towns-people 
that so long as the Aumils occupied such an impregnable residence, they would 
never do anything but oppress the people. This is an undoubted fact, and is 
curiously typical of the spirit of the times. From this stem (of Rajah Sumarsa) 
the Rajahs of Pertabnere and Chuckkernugger, the Rana of Sikroree, the Rows 
of Jasohan and Kishnt, and other princely houses, sprang ; and though they 
probably no longer hold more than a fifth at most of the eleven hundred and 
twenty -two villages over which Sumarsa once exercised regal authority, the 
ChauhSns are still the dominant race of the west, as the Senghurs are of the 
east of the Etawah district" (a). The Chauhftn Rajpoots have been a ruling 
class in that part of Etawah for frdly six hundred years. It is singular that 
in the Cbail division of the Allahabad district is a clan of Chauh&n Maho- 
medans, a race of Chauh&n Rajpoots converted to Islamism. 

The most influential branches of the Chauh&n tribe in the North-Westem 
Provinces are " those of the Central Doab, in Khandauli of Agra ; in Lakhnau, 
Jtnib R&st, Deolt Jakhan, and the HazAr TahsU of Etawah ; in Akbarpdr of 
CawnpAr ; and in MOstafab&d, Gihror, Sonj, Etah, Eishnt Nabtganj, and Bhdn- 
o^nw, in the district of Mainpftri. Of these the most conspicuous are the fami- 
lies of Raj or, Pratftbnlr, Chakarnagar, and Manchana, the head of which latter 
is usually known as the Raja of Mainpftii. These four families, as well as their 
relatives, do not allow other Chauhd^ns to associate with them on terms of 
equality, being descended from the illustrious Prithi Raj, and therefore connected 
with the regal stem of Nlmran&"(i). The title of Raja is attached to the 
heads of these four great houses. The title of Rana is given to the Sakrauli 
family of Etawah ; and of Rao, to each of the families of Jasohan and Kishni. 

(a) Census Report of the North -Western Provinces, for 1865, Mr. A. O. Hume*8 Memorandum on the 
prevailing; Castes of Etawah, Appendix B., p. 83. 

(b) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 64. 


The Bhadauria Chauhftns also have a Raja, a Dewan (possessed by the family 
of Pama in Bah Panahat), a Rai (held by the family of Chitauli in Atair), and 
six Raos, held by six different families (a). 

A descendant of Prithi Raj was L&h Rao of Mandftwar, whose territory is 
called R&th. The Chauh&ns of this family ace styled Alanot. A brother of 
(L&h was Laure, Raja of Nimr&nfi, whose descendant always receives his inves- 
titure of the Rajaship from the R410 of Mand&war, who shows his superiority 
over the Raja by applying the tilakj or mark, on the forehead between the eyes, 
not with the finger, as is customary, but with the great toe (i). The Chauh&ns of 
'Benares are few in number, and without note. Although the tribe can boast of 
so many chiefs of distinction elsewhere, yet in Benares it is not represented by 
one. They are of the Vatsa ffoira. 

Chauh&n Ehand is a district between Sirgftja and Sohftgpdr in Central India, 
'inhabited by a clan of Chauh&n Rajpoots sprung from those in Mainpdrl. 
Their chief formerly was Chandai*sen, who has given the name to Chandw&r. The 
€hauh&ns of Upper Rohilkhand are generally regarded as of low rank, and are 
sometimes not reckoned among Rajpoots at all. The names of their clans 
are: Nihtor, Haldaur, Sherkot, Afzalgurh, Nfigin^, Chandp^r, and Mandfiwar (c). 

At Sambhal, Bil&rl, and Hassanpdr, in the Morfidab&d district, Chaub&n 
^Rajpoots have resided for ages. They settled in Th&kurdw&ra and ESshlpAr, 
in the same tract, five hundred years ago, having come from Chittore, Meerut, 
and Rohilkhand. The Chauhftn population in these parts greatly increased in 
the reign of the emperor Bahlol Lodi (rf). The present Chauhftn Raja of Main- 
pftrl traces his pedigree through no fewer than ninety- three ancestors, beginning 
with one Raja Jag Dutt; of these Prithi Raj was the seventieth (e). In the 
district of Etah, the Chauh&ns are said to be descended from Raja Sangat, other- 
wise called Sakat Deo, a name of some repute, who sprang from Chabur Deo, 
brother of Prithi Raj. The towns of Etah, Marehra, and Bilr4m, and the 
villages of Tilokp^, Prithiptkr Eapftta, Bhadw&s, and Dhoulaiswar, were founded 
by these Rajpoots. The Raja of Etah is of this tribe ; the town bearing his 
name dates from the fourteenth century (/). In the Census Statistics of 1865, 
no notice is taken of the Chauh&ns of Etah. 

(«) fiUiot*fl Supplemental GloflsuyjYol. I., p. 64. 

(b) Ibid, p. 65. 

(c) Ibid, p. 67. 

(d) General Report of ihe Gensna of the Korth-Weatern Provincea, for 1866, App. B., pp. 39, 40. 

(e) Ibidy Memorandum bj Mr. Growae,, pp. 75, 76. 
{f) Ridt Memorandum by Mr. Croathwaite, p. 93. 



From tbe inveterate tendency of nearly all the Chauh&ns to trace their 
descent from the celebrated Prithi Raj, it is manifest that the traditions respect- 
ing most of their pedigrees are of little worth. The same may be said of the 
pedigi*ees of the R&thors, who profess to be descended from Jai Chand, the last 
monarch of the ancient kingdom of Kanouj. Some scores of R^yas and Rais 
in these provinces indulge the pleasant conceit that they are lineally descended 
from the one or the other. All such family traditions should be received with 
great caution. 

In the district of Bulandshahr are several Chauhd^n families or clans, all 
professedly of the lineage of Prithi R8j. Some settled under their chief Rao 
Ealaka in the Agautha division, where they laid the foundations of a number 
of villages. Others were led by Tej P&l, and inhabited first the village of 
Badlt, from which they removed to Ehataolt, and at various times occupied aa 
many as fourteen villages. Others, again, settled in Raipiir Eatauri, whence 
they expelled the former Brahman proprietors. Their chief was Rao KalCk, who 
married into the Tomar family of Rajpoots. Rao Kalft, however, came to a 
bad end, for both himself and his son were hanged by the Chaklidftr of Earaurt 
Secundrab&d for their conduct to the unfortunate Brahmans. But the grandson 
of Kald^ Patr&j, avenged their death by the slaughter of the ChaklidS^r, for 
which act he received a free pardon from the Emperor of Delhi, on condition of 
his embracing the Mahomedan faith. All the Brahman villages also were 
assigned to him. Several villages are still held by this clan, though many have 
passed away from them (a). 

It is conjectured that the Chauhftns entered Oudh shortly after the Dikshit 
Rajpoots. " They colonized," says Mr. C. A. Elliott, " a tract of land, which 
lies south of Dikhthl&nS., with the Ponwars, Bachils, and Parih&rs between it 
and the river Ganges. Chauh&n& is the name given to this tract, which is 
popularly said to consist of ninety villages" (6). Mr. C. A. Elliott states, that 
the great Rajpoot clans bearing the names of Bachgotl, R&jkum&r, Rajwftr, and 
Eh&nz&da, which exercise authority over a large portion of the Fyzabad and 
Sult&npftr districts, are really Chauh&ns, whose ancestors quitted Mainpftrl about 
the same time. The chief ground for this statement is, that they all belong to 
the same gotra^ or great family stock (c). This, however, is not true in 
Benares, for there the Chauh&ns are of the Vatsa gotra^ and the R&jkum&rs of 

( a ) Census of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. L, Appendix B., p. 18. 

(b) Mr. G. A. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao, p. 42. 

(c) Ibid, p. 43. 


the Ejisyap. In the Bnngarmau sub-division of the Unao district is another 
colony of Chaiihfins, possessing twenty-seven villages. They have no family 
traditions ; and, consequently, are not generally regarded as genuine Chauhlins, 
nor are permitted to sit on an equality with other members of the tribe (a). 

Two Chauhftn families of high lineage occupy lands to the North-West of 
the Mangalsi Pargannah of the Fyzabad district of Oudh, having come 
originally, they assert, from Bhftlnganj or Bhftlnagar, in the Mainptirt district. 
" They marry their sons in the east," says Mr. P. Camegy, " among the Bais 
of Kotsar&wan, the Bais of the ChaurS,sl of Salehp&r Sarauja near Shahganj, 
and also the Gautams of Trans-Gogra. Their daughters they marry in the 
west to Ponwars, the Chamfir-Gaurs of Amethia, Surajbans, and RaikwSrs. 
They consider themselves of much purer and higher family than the Chauh&ns 
of the great Southern family of this district, of five hundred and sixty-five 
villages " (ft). 

The Chauhd^ns . are powerful in the district of Cawnpftr. The pargannah 
of Akbarptkr Sh&hp6r, in the year 1848, belonged almost exclusively to this 
tribe. They are said to have come thither upwards of three hundred years ago. 
They are a branch of the Mainpftrl family. The Chauh&ns are also found in 
th^ S4rh Sallmptb* pargannah. In 1848 Raja Sanwal Sing was their repre- 
smtative (c). 

They are also met with in the FathpAr district, where they hold a few 
estates. The Chauhftns of Gorakhpftr are descended from N&g Sen, son of a 
Rajah of Chittore. 


The Bhadauriya Chauh^lns have six clans, namely, Athbhaiya, Eulhaiya, 
Mainu, Tassell, Chandarsenia, and M^t, and are found in the districts of Shfi,h- 
jah&npdr, Etawah, Cawnp6r, and Saugor in Central India. " They are in chief 
force," says Sir H. Elliot, " in B&h Pan&hat of Agra, and to the country to the 
South, which after them is called BhadS^war. Some say their name is derived 
from Badara, between the Chambal and the Jumna ; others, more correctly, 
from Bhadaura, in the neighbourhood of Atair" (d). He also states that ^^the 

(a) Mr. C. A. ElIiott*8 Chronicles of Oonao, p. 43. 

(b) Mr. P. Cameg7*8 Historical Sketch of the Fyzabad District, Appendix by Mr. J. Woodbnm 
Settlement Officer, pp. 4, 5. 

(c) Report of the Cawnpiir District. 

id) Elliotts Sapplementary Olossary, Vol. L, p. 25. 


family of the Raja of Bhad&war aspires to a high antiquity ;" and that " we are 
led to infer from a passage in Tod's Rajasthan, that the Bhadauriyas were 
established on the Chambal by Monika Bai, Prince of Ajmere, or at least 
shortly after his reign. Now, as he flourished towards the close of the seventb 
century, the Bhadauriyas must have preceded the Ghauh&ns of the Doab, if 
reliance is to be placed on his statement" (a). The Raja of Pan&hat, of die 
Bhadauriya branch of the Chauhftn tribe, claims for his family great antiquity. 
He owns an estate of thirty villages. 

The family was held in consideration under the later Mogul emperors. 
Mr. Hume says, that the Bhadauriyas ^^ are allowed precedence by the Chauh&ns 
of Manchh&na or Mainpftri and Pertabnere ; but in reality these Bhadauriyas 
were of no importance when the great Ghauhftn houses were founded here- 
abouts (Etawah), and only rose into notice when the Chauhd^ns of Etawah had 
been for nearly four hundred years the rulers of the whole country round 
about. It was during the time of Sh&h Jah&n and his successors, that the 
Bhadauriyas (always a troublesome and disreputable set) obtained a perma- 
nent hold, which they still retain, on much of the Chauhftn territory. The 
Rao of Barpftra is a Bhadauriya, and the head of the clan in this district" (6). 
In the district of Benares many of the Rajpoots, on the right bank of the 
Ganges, are of this branch of Chauh&ns. There are several thousands in Agra ; 
and they form an important community in Gawnpftr. 


The Bachgott Chauhftns are said to have sprung from four brothers, — ^named 
Gftge, Gftge, Grautam, and Rftni. Some of the tribe are located in the country 
on the confines of Oudh and JaunpAr, and on the borders of Gt)rakhpftr. The 
Raja of Kurwar, and the Diwan of Hasanpftr Bandhiva, in the south-east tract 
of Oudh, although a Mahomedan, are of this clan. The Diwan, strange to say, 
applies the tilak to the foreheads of the Hindu Rajas of Binaudha, on their inves- 
titure of the tide of Raja. These Mahomedan Bachgott Chauh&ns are of con- 
siderable antiquity, and are referred to before the Mogul Period of Indian History. 
The Bilkhariyas, Rajwftrs, and Rdjkum&rs are said to have sprung from the 
Bachgott Chauhftns. 

(a) Elliotts Sapplementary Gloflsary, Vol. I^ p. 26. 

(b) Report of the Census of the North- Western FroTinces, for 1865, Vol L, Appendix B., Memoran- 
dum by Mr. A. O. Hume, p. 84. 


This tribe is exceedingly numerous in Jaunpftr, where they number between 
twenty and thirty thousand persons. There are many also in the country about 
Benares. A few are to be found in Allahabad and Azimgarh. 

The Bachgotls of Oudh are second in rank of all the Rajpoot tribes, and 
have the privilege of sending no fewer than fifteen chiefs to the vice-regal 
Durbar. The tribe is of the Vatsa gotra or order. 


This tribe is said, both by Wilson and Sir H. Elliot, to be a branch of the 
Bachgott Cbauh&ns, and to derive their name from Bilkhar in Oudh (a). Mr. P. 
Camegy, however, states that they are an ofishoot of the Dikshit tribe settled 
in the Part&bgarh district of Oudh ; and that they took their name from Belkar- 
kot, a fort which they captured (6). The Dhuriapftr pargannah of the Grorakh- 
piir district, contains a considerable colony of Bilkhariya Bajpoots. In Oudh 
the tribe boasts of two chiefs of high position. 


An insignificant tribe of Rajpoots. A few families are found in Benares, 
and about one hundred in Jaunpiir. There is also a colony in Oudh, which 
possesses some influence, and sends one taluqddrj or large landholder, to the 
Governor-General's Durbar, whenever he holds his court in that Province. 


The term RSjkum&r is properly a compound word, meaning the son of a 
Raja; and is commonly so applied. It also designates a distinct Rajpoot tribe, 
of considerable wealth and influence, inhabiting various tracts in the North- 
Westiern Provinces, and engaged, for the most part, in the pursuit of agriculture. 
Families of the tribe are to be found in Benares and several neighbouring dis- 
tricts. It is numerous in Jaunpftr, where there are upwards of a thousand fami- 
lies. The members of this tribe in the district of Benares, Wilson remarks, 
were once ^^ notorious for the murder of their infant daughters" (c). Whether 
they have improved of late years in this respect, is worthy of careful inquiry. 
The somewhat rigid surveillance, under which some of the Rajpoot tribes are 
now placed, must, I fain hope, have had the effect of diminishing this inhuman 
crime, formerly so prevalent in the Benares province. 

(a) Elliot*8 Supplemental Glossarj, Vol. I., p. 88. 
{h) Mr. P. Ciirneg7*B Races of Oudb, p. 39. 
(c) Wil80D*8 Glossary, p. 434. 


The R&jkum&rs of Benares ai'e of the K&syap gotra. They are a very 
influential community in the Province of Oudh, where as many as eight taluqdars 
have a seat in the Governor-Grenerars Durbar as represenfaitives of the tribe. 


The Kkvk Rajpoots, although a branch of the great ChauhSn family, have, 
nevertheless, a distinct tribal existence. The province of HfirSwatl is called 
after this clan; and two of its most important chiefs, the Rr.jas of Eota and 
Bundi, have principalities of the same name within its compass. This tribe has 
few representatives in the North-Western Provinces. A small community, how- 
ever, is in Benares, some of whom are attached to the Bundi Raja, who has pro- 
perty in the city. There are also some families in Ratanpftr Bansi, in the dis- 
trict of Gorakhpftr. 

Rai Surjan, of this clan, entered the service of the Emperor Akbar. He 
was first attached to the Rana, and was governor of Ratanbh(ir, at which time 
he steadily opposed the emperor's troops. Eventually, he saw the uselessness 
of resistance, and made his submission to Akbar, by whom he was made governor 
of Gadha-Katangah, and afterwards of the fort of Chunar(o). A son of Rai 
Surjan, Rai Bhoj, served under Raja M&n Singh, in Akbar's army, against the 
Afghans of Orissa, and under Shaikh Abulfazl in the Dakhin (ft). 

A few families of the Hir& Rajpoots possess small estates in the Gorakh- 
pAr district, and are accounted as of the highest rank. 


A branch of the Chauh&n Rajpoots. A few families only are scattered 
among the North-Western Provinces ; some of which are found in Benares, and 
others in Allahabad and Cawnpftr. The Khichls of Raghugarh are important 
members of this tribe (c). 


The members of this tribe state that they are Chauhans, and originally 
came fi-om the Mainpftrt district. They aflSrm that they received the title of 
Bargy&n on account of some great enterprise which their ancestors performed. 
Some are found in the Ghaziptkr district. Upwards of fifty years ago, they 

(a) Ain-i-Akbaii, Mr. Blochmann's translation, Vol. I., p. 409. 
(6) Ibid, p. 458. 

(c) Wilson's Glossary, p. 484. 


foolishly allowed themselves to fall into arrears in the payment of land revenue, 
on account of which most of their estates were sold off. Consequently, their 
present condition is one of poverty not unmingled with discontent. They for- 
merly possessed fifty-two villages (a). 

This tribe has also branches in the Azimgarh district, representing a small 
community of about a hundred families. 


This tribe is sometimes reckoned among the thirty ^six royal races as dis'^ 
tinct from the Chauh&ns ; but there is reason to suppose that it really belongs 
to that great tribe. It is found in considerable numbers in the tract of country 
embracing the districts of GorakhpAr, Azimgarh, Jaunpiir, and Ghazipiir. It 
belongs to the Vashisht gotra or order. There is a powerful clan in Hardui, 
at the head of which is Thd^kur Bharat Singh. 

Those in Gorakhpftr, remarks Dr. Oldham, have the title of Sirnet, which 
was given to them by one of the emperors of Delhi, from the following singular 
circumstance. ^^ The Naikumbhs then, as now, only raised the hand to the head ; 
and never bowed the head when making obeisance. The emperorannoy, ed by this 
apparent want of respect of some Naikumbh chiefs in attendance at his court, 
ordered that, before their entrance, a sword should be placed across the doorway, 
in such a manner that they, on entering his presence, should be compelled to 
stoop. Some of the Naikumbh chiefs maintaining their position were decapitated. 
The emperor, satisfied with this exhibition of their firmness and determination, 
permitted them in future to make their salams in their own fashion, and gave to 
them the title of Sirnet" (6). Mr. C. A. Elliott believes the Simets to have 
sprung from the Dikshit Rajpoots. See the section on the Sirnet tribe further on. 

The Naikumbhs of the Basti pargannah of Gorakhpftr are stated to have 
come originally from Srinagar, together with the Raja of Satd^st, and for a time 
to have served him and also the Raja of Banst. Subsequently receiving grants of 
lands in the Bastt pargannah^ they settled there. The Rajas of Bastt, TJnwal, 
and Rudrapfir, in the Gorakhpftr district, all belong to this tribe. 

In the Jaunpflr district, the pargannah of Marl&hii has the largest number of 
this clan. The entire district, at the last Census, contained upwards of twelve 

(a) Dr. W. 01dham*s Statistical Memoir of the GhazipCir District, p. 65. 

(Jb) See Dr. W. 01dham*s Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipiir District. He gives two possible derivations 
of Bimet, one from the Sanskrit $ar^ a head, and net^ a leader ; the other from the Persian Hr^nest^ headless. 

O— 1 


thousand individuals. There is a small community of the tribe in Benares, con- 
sisting of traders and servants. 

The Naikumbhs of Ghazipftr are in the Reotl Tuppeh or sub-division. 
They consider themselves to have sprung from Bekram Deo, brother of Raja 
Akhraj Deo, of Unwal of Gorakhpftr, who founded a colony of his own race 
there several hundred years ago, on occasion of his visiting the confluence of the 
sacred rivers, Ganges and Saiju, on pilgrimage. They strive earnestly to keep 
up their intercourse and associations with the original family. In order to cement 
the family bond a head-man of the Ghazipftr branch, Babu RaghunS^th Singh, 
visited Unwal some sixty or seventy years ago, and there dug wells and planted 
groves. The Naikumbhs of this district hold a high position among Rajpoots. 
In the mutiny they rebelled, ai)d gave some trouble ; but were afterwards pardon- 
ed. They are a fine, handsome race. The late Raja of Haldi married a Nui- 
kumbh lady. A small number of the clan became Mussalmans during the 
Mahomedan rule (a). 

This tribe has settlements in Oudh, and sends one talukdar^ or native chief, 
to the Govemor-Generars Durbar. 

(a) See the Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces, Vol. I., Appendix B., pp. 110, 115; 
and Dr. W. Oldham's Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipiir District, pp. 59, 60. 





Like the Gaur Brahmans, the Gaur Rajpoots are found in large numbers 
in some parts of the North- Western Provinces. Yet there does not appear to 
have been ,any original blood-relation between the two races. Nevertheless, it 
is not improbable that they inhabited the same country simultaneously ; and 
hence received the same appellation. What this country was, is a problem 
hard to solve ; but most likely it was the tract around Delhi. Other tribes have 
sub-divisions or clans bearing the name of Gaur. It is given to the twelfth 
clan of the Kayasths ; it is one of the seven clans of the Dirzts ; and it is 
borne also by the Taga Brahmans. 

The Gaur Rajpoots are, in these Provinces, divided into three classes, 
known as Bhat-Gaur, BS.hman-Gaur, and Cham&r-Gsur, names originating, it is 
supposed, from the intercourse of this tribe of Rajpoots with the Bhats, the 
Brahmans, and the Cham&rs. Colonel Tod enumerates five branches, which are 
very different from these, — namely, Unt&hir, Silh&l&, TAr, IMsena, and Bud&nu ; 
and says, that repeated mention is made of the Gaurs in the wars of Prithi 
Rfij, as leaders of renown. He states also that they were most probably posses- 
sors of Ajmere prior to its occupation by the Chauh&ns (a). " The Cham&r- 
Gaur," says Sir H. Elliot, ^^ who are sub-divided into Rajas and Rais, rank the 
highest, which is accounted for in this way. When troubles fell upon the Gaur 
family, one of their ladies, far advanced in pregnancy, took refrige in a Gham&r's 
house, and was so grateful to him for his protection, that she promised to call her 
child by his name. The Bhats and Brahmans, to whom the others fled, do 
not appear to have had similar forbearance ; and hence, strange as it may 
appear, the sub-divisions called affcer their name rank below the Cham&r-Gaur. 

(a) Tod*8 Rajasthan, Vol., I., p. 1 16. 


The Charadr-Gaur themselves say, their name is properly Chaunhar-Gaur, from 
a Raja who was called Chaiinhar. Sometimes they say their real name is Chiman 
Gaur; and that they are called after a Muni, whose name was Chiman. The 
fact is, they are ashamed of their name, as it presumes a connexion with 
Cham^jrs, which they are anxious to disclaim" (a). 

The tribe is very numerous in the districts of Agra and Cawnpdr. 
They seem to have occupied the Etawah territory from a remote epoch. 
Their own traditions state, says Mr. A. O. Hume, " that they migrated from 
Sopar, in the West, as early as 650 A. D., and took up their head-quarters at 
Parsft, reclaiming much of the surrounding country from the everlasting Meos 
whom everybody was always conquering, without, it must be confessed, their 
a|)pearing much the worse for it. In about 1000 A. D., the Gaur Thakurs 
were, they assert, in great force in that tract of country now known as the 
PhapAnd, Akbarpftr, Oraiyah, Bidhilkna, RasMab&d, and Dera Mangalpftr Par- 
gannahs, having their head-quarters at Mahhoust, and founding fifty-two or 
bdwan garhU^ or forts, amongst which Phapftnd, Umrl, Burhad&na, and many 
others lately granted to the Kayasth Chaudhris, are enumerated." These Gaur 
Rajpoots affirm, that, at the beginning of the twelfth century, they were utterly 
ruined by Ala and Udal, Rajahs of Mahoba, especially by the agency of Udal, 
who was an archer of consummate skill. They never regained their importance 
in Etawah, although their influence in other places greatly augmented. The 
tribe still holds Sahail, Karchalla, Jaura, and other villages, situated in the 
districts of Etawah and CawnpAr (i). 

There are a few Gaur Rajpoots in the district of Etah. Bahman-Gaurs are 
landholders of the village of Barhola; and Chamftr-Gaurs, of the villao-e of 
Barona. Sanorl is another village occupied by the tribe (c). The Gaurs in 
the Jhfinsl district affirm that their ancestors came from Indftrkhl, in Scindiah's 
country, some three hundred years ago. 

A colony of Gaurs has been established at Zlrakpftr and Mela, in Oudh, 
from about the time of the emperor Baber. They possess still nearly all the 
thirty-six villages originally founded by the family. They are Bfthman-Gaurs 
of the Modal gotra. 

A second colony of B4hman-Gaurs occupies twenty-eight villages in the 
Harha pargannah of Unao. Their tradition is, that the country they now 

(a) Elliot*8 Supplemental Qlossarj, Vol. I^p. 105. 

{V) Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces of India, for 1 865, Appendix B., Vol. !•, pp. 83, 84. 

(c) Ihidy p. 94. 


possess was formerly inhabited by a race of cowherds, who lived by pasturage. 
Having in some way oflfended the Government, a force was sent against them by 
the emperor Akbar under the command of Garapdes Gaur. This commander 
extirpated the cowherds, and obtained a grant of their lands, on which he forth- 
with settled ; and they have been in the hands of his family ever since (a). 

Sir H. Elliot states, " that the strongest clan of Gaur is in the Central Doab. 
They say that they came from Narn&l, from which place Nar in Rasiilabd^d, the 
residence of a Gaur Raja, derives its name. The Rajas of Saket, Kishta- 
war, Mandi and Keonthal, in the Himalayas, between Simla and Kashmir, are 
all Gaur Rajpoots. He of Saket is a Cham§.r-Gaur. They all state that their 
families came originally from Bengal " (i). 

The Gaur Rajpoots hold a number of villages in the district of ShS^hja- 
hS^np&r. In addition to some in the north of the district, they also possess 
about fifty near Powayan, Seraman, and Khotar. Their tradition is, that they 
entered the district about nine hundred years ago under the leadership of 
Ehag Kai and Bagh Rai, two chiefs who originally came from Oudh, and took 
possession of sixty-two villages, of which their descendants still hold fifty. The 
Raja of Powayan is the head of the Gaurs in that part of the country. 

The Amethia Rajpoots of Oudh are said to be a branch of the ChamS^r- 
Gaurs. In this province the Gaur occupies a position of considerable influence, 
and sends as many as six representative chiefs to the vice-regal Durbar. 

The Gaurs are numerous in the Rasulab&d pargannah of the CawnpAr dis- 
trict. They have been in that neighbourhood for several hundred years, and 
came originally under the leadership of Abas Deo. The Raja of Nar is the 
representative of the family by lineal descent. The landholders of MakraudpOr 
Kahnjarl are more wealthy and influential than the Raja (c). The Gaur 
Rajpoots in the Dera Mangalpiir pargannah are a branch of the RasMabd^d 
family. In 1848 their principal men were Rana Umrao Chand of Mangalpdr, 
Rawat Tej Singh of Bhandemau, and Rawat Sundar Singh. The first is 
highest in rank, and receives ofierings during the Dasahra festival from the 
men of his tribe in acknowledgment of his superiority- Not long before this, 
Rawat Sunder Singh's family possessed fifty-two villages ; but it has been 
ruined . by extravagance (rf). The ,Gaurs were also at that time the principal 
landed proprietors of the pargannah Sikandrah Bil&sp^. 

(a) Mr. C. A. Elliott*s Chronicles of Oonao, p. 52. 

(d) Sir H. Elliotts Supplemental Qlossarj, Vol. L, pp. 185, 186. 

(c) Report of the District of GawnpCkr, p. 60. 

(d) Report of the Cawnpiir District^ p. 68. 


This tribe is located in Slt&pftr, Hardui, Unao, and Bahraicli, of Oudh, and 
boasts of six chieftains. It is found also in considerable numbers on the borders 
of Rohilkhand. The head of them in the province of Oudh is taluqd&r of Eates- 
war in Slt&pHr. He is a B&hman-Gaur : his clansmen possess the large num- 
ber of thirty-seven villages Dal Singh, a taluqd&r of Kagr&la, is the second 
in rank. He is a ChamS,r-Gaur. His clansmen occupy ninety -six villages (a). 

The small clan of this name sprang from Amethi, in Oudh. They are a 
branch of the Cham^r-Gaurs. Wilson says that they spring from the Chauh&n 
family {b). They have colonies in Binaudha, and in Salimpttr Majhauli, in 
the Gorakhpftr district ; and also in the district of Azimgarh. 


This clan is allied to the Gaur tribe, and the two tribes, it is said, are found 
generally dwelling together. This seems to be true of those inhabiting the 
provinces of Rohilkhand and its neighbourhood. Whether it is true of the 
tribes elsewhere, I am unable to say. Formerly, Rohilkhand was called Kather 
from its being inhabited by the Kathariya tribe, who, it appears, were not sub- 
dued until the time of the emperor Sh&h Jah^n. The province, however, had 
been previously frequently invaded by the Mahomedan armies, and many 
villages once belonging to the Kathariyas had been brought within the Sircar of 
Budaon as belonging to the district of Gola. Still, this tribe claims ^ to have 
been independent of the emperor of Delhi for three generations after Akbar's 
fiscal divisions of Sircars and Pargannahs were framed.' 

The head of this tribe is the Raja of Khotar. His family has possessed 
the estate of Khotar from a comparatively recent date, having received the 
grant of it originally from a Vizier of Oudh. The country inhabited by the 
Gaur and Kathariya Rajpoots in Rohilkhand is nearly contiguous to the Par- 
gannah of Gola, as described in the district records of Akbar's reign ; * but they 
spread themselves into parts of the modern divisions of Pilibhlt and LaklmpAr 
(in Bareilly and Oudh), which were not altogether included in Gola.' The 
Kathariyas state that formerly the eastern division of Rohilkhand was in the 
hands of the Bachal Rajpoots, who were defeated by an army from Delhi, and 
their lands given to the Kathariyas (c). 

(a) Mr. P. Garneg7*s Races of Oudh, p. 53. 

{h) WiIson*8 Qlossary, p. 22. 

(c) Census of the North-Western Froyinces for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix E^ p. 57. 


Gaharwdr or Oaharwdl. 

This is included by Colonel Tod among the thirty-six royal tribes of Eaj- 
poots. Its chief seat is in Mirzapftr, in which district there were in 1865 nearly 
twenty-seven thousand Gaharw&rs, at the head of whom was the Raja of Bijaipiir, 
a large village some ten miles from the city of Mirzapiir. Formerly, the Gaharwftr 
Raja was styled Raja of Kantit, an extensive pargannah or barony including the 
city of Mirzapiir and the country beyond it, as far as the fort of Chunar twenty 
miles distant. In the middle of the last century, Balwant Singh, the power- 
ful Raja of Benares, made war against the Kantit Raja, and expelled him from 
his territory, which his family had occupied for more than five centuries. Some 
time after the rebellion of Raja Cheit Singh of Benares, the son of the fugitive 
Raja was re-called by the Governor General of India, and re-placed in the 
home of his fathers. His estates, however, were not returned ; but he was 
granted certain lands, yielding a comparatively small income, together with 
the old palace at BijaipAr. This the family still enjoys. Had it not been for 
the British Government the family would have been utterly ruined. 

The predecessors of the Gaharw§.rs in Kantit, and in vast tracts of country 
lying contiguous to it, were the Bhars, an indigenous race of great enterprise, 
who although not highly civilized were far removed from barbarism. They 
have left numerous evidences of their energy and skill, in earthworks, forts, 
dams, and the like. For some time, tradition states, they wore able to cope 
with the Gaharwflr immigrants, but eventually they were entirely subdued by 
them. At the present time, large numbers of the Bhars are still found scattered 
all over this region ; yet, for the most part, they are degraded and despised. 

The Gaharw&r Rajpoots are said to be connected with the R&thors. They 
claim to have been once rulers over the ancient kingdom of Ean^uj, and there 
is good reason to believe that the claim is a just one. Sir H. Elliot considers 
it probable that the Gaharwftr kings preceded the five R&thor monarchs of 
Kauouj, and " fled to their present seats on the occupancy of the country by 
the R&thors ; or, it may be, that after living in subordination to, or becoming 
incorporated with, the R&thors, they were dispersed at the final conquest of 
Kanouj by Mahomed Ghori. " Those who inhabited Kantit were under the 
leadership of Gadan Deo, whom some have supposed to be Manik Chaud, bro- 
tlier of Jai Chand, the RS,thor king (a). The Raja of Dyah is of this tribe, 
to whom, and also to the Raja of Bijaipiir, the Raja of M&ada is related. This 

{a) EUiut's Supplemental Qlossar^, Vol. I., pp. 121, 128. 


chief has extensive possessions in the Allahabad district. Formerly, his pro- 
perty lay likewise in the neighbouring districts of Mirzapiir, Jaunpiir, and 
Benares. He is a man of considerable influence, and is said to be descended 
in a direct line from Jai Chand, of Kanouj (a). The Gaharwfirs of the par- 
gannah of Ehera Magror, in the Benares district, belonging to the Maharaja of 
Benares, have been converted to Mahomedanism. Gaharw&rs are found at Sin- 
grd^mpiir in the Farakhabad district, in some other parts of the Do&b, and in 
Bandelkhand, Ghazipiir, and Gorakhp^ir ; and are rather numerous in the district 
of Cawnpftr. 

This tribe occupies an important position in the GhazipAr district. " The 
greater part of Pargannah Mahaich, south of the Ganges, belongs to a tribe of 
Gaharwftr Surajbans Rajpoots, who claim," says Dr. W. Oldham, " descent from 
Babu Eiinr Manik Chand Singh, a cadet of the family of the Raja of Eantit 
in the Mirzapiir district. He is stated to have been in the military employ- 
ment of the emperors of Delhi, and to have taken the pargannah at a higher 
revenue than the Brahmans who had held it before him, and who, it appears 
probable, were the descendants of some of the Brahmans of the Gupta period. 
The villages held by the Gttharw§.rs are divided into tarafs^ called by the names 
of Kflnr Singh's three sons, Sidhan, Jamdarg, and R&dh4 Rai. Two or three 
centuries ago, ten of the descendants of Sidhan Rai entered into a warlike con- 
federation, and built eight forts, the ruins of which still remain at Dhanap(ir, 
the chief village of the pargannah. They, by force of arms, extended on every 
side the limits of the pargannah^ and their own property. 

"During the government of the first Raja of Benares, Balwant Singh, 
Babu Mardan Singh, a Gaharwilr, was his deputy in the government of the 
pargannah. He is described as a man of great liberality, who, in a famine which 
occurred in A.' D. 1763, when five seers (or ten pounds) of peas or gram (a kind 
of pea) sold for a rupee, daily fed hundreds of every caste with food cooked by 
Brahmans. The Gaharwd^rs of the pargannah have retained about half of the 
one hundred and eighty-four villages formerly owned by them ; but the chief 
village of the clan, Dhanapiir, though still nominally their property, is irretrievably 
mortgaged. One small branch of the clan became Mahomedans during the empire 
of the Moguls. 

" For several generations past all connection between the branch of the 
Gaharwars in Mahaich and the parent clan of Kantit has ceased; and the 

(a) Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., p 129. 


members of the two branches will not eat together. There is also a small 
colony of GaharwSrs in the Pachotar Pargannah" (a). 

This tribe is scarcely known in Rajpootana; and the Rajpoot clans there 
will not permit any marriage connexions with it. Col. Tod, in his Rajasthan, 
states that the Bundelas have sprung from the GaharwS^rs in the following manner. 
The great ancestor of the latter, he says, " was Khortaj Deva, from whom 
Jessonda, the seventh in descent, in consequence of some grand sacrificial rites 
])erformed at Bindabasi, gave the title of Bundela to his issue. Bundela has 
now usurped the name of Gaharw&r, and become the appellation of the immense 
tract which its various branches inhabit in Bundelkhand, on the ruins of the 
Chandelas, whose chief cities, Ealinjar, Mohini, and Mohoba, they took posses- 
sion of "(6). 

It is sometimes asserted by natives of the country that the GaharwS^rs are 
descended from ancient kings of Benares ; yet no satisfactory authority is given 
for the assertion (c). At the present day very few of the race are to be found either 
in the city or district of Benares, although the tribe is confessedly numerous 
in the neighbouring district of Mirzapikr. The small number, however, residing 
in Benares, occupy a respectable position as landholders. 

Raja Bhaw&ni Singh of AkbarpAr, in the district of Cawnpftr, was, in 1848, 
the chief of the Gaharw&rs of the pargannah of Bilhaur Deohah, and the owner 
of eighty villages. Being of imbecile mind his wife managed his estates (rf). 

The Gaharw&rs are of the K&syap gotra or order. 


A race of Rajpoots inhabiting Bundelkhand, to which tepitory they have 
given their own name. They have sprung, it is said, from the union of a Gahar- 
w&r of Kantit in Mirzapiir with a slave girl, or, as others aflSi-m, with the daughter 
of a Khangar Raja. In any case, it is acknowledged that they are not genuine 
Rajpoots {e). 

The wars between the great Rajpoot families of Delhi and Eanouj, and 
between the Mahomedans and the Hindii tribes of the north-western portion of 
India, six or seven hundred years ago, bore an abundant harvest of confusion . 
and disorder, which ended in the destruction of a multitude of ancient tenures 

(a) Dr. Wilton 01dham*8 Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipihr Districty pp. 58, 9. 

(h) Tod's Rajasthan, p. 116. 

(c) See Buchanan's Eastern India, Vol. IE., p. 450. 

(d) Report of the District of Cawnpiir, p. 64. 

(«) Elliot's Sapplemental Glossary, Vol I., p. 46. 

H— 1 


over a large tract of country, and the establishment of new ones, many of which 
last to the present day. The Bundela tribe had its origin at this period and 
under these circumstances. 

This tribe has a few colonies in several districts of the North- Western 
Provinces. They are found in Benares, Cawnpiir, and Agra, and probably in 
other places. There are several thousands in Banda, Jh^nsi, and Lallatpftr. 
The latter district alone contained, at the last Census, nearly ten thousand 
Bundelas (a). Wilson remarks that there are few members of the tribe inhabiting 
the British portion of Bundelkhand, except in the pargannah of Panw&rl (b). 

The Bundelas are said to differ in many important respects from other 
Rajpoot tribes. For instance, they marry amongst themselves, while other Raj- 
poot tribes marry with one another. They have a peculiar way of shaving their 
heads. They work with their own hands in the field, in ploughing, sowing, and 
so forth, which Brahmans and Rajpoots generally are too proud to do. The 
Bundela is a sturdy, manly fellow, with abundance of native energy and 
force (c). 


This is a small tribe sprung^ from a union of Gaharw&r and BhMnh&r 
families with Dikshit Rajpoots. Hence it has two branches : 

1. Kinwir Rajpoots. 

2. Kinw&r BhMnhdrs. 

The Kinwd^r Rajpoots are settled in the Sahatw&r or Mohatpftl sub-division 
of the Khartd pargannah^ in the Ghazipiir district. There is a considerable 
number also in the Baliah pargannah of the same district, where they possess 
two extensive estates called Chd.t& and S&rt. These are descended from the 
Sahatw&rs, who affirm respecting themselves, that they received their lands 
from the Ujain Raja of Bhojpflir, by the marriage of Kulkul Sah, their ancestor, 
and the founder of their clan, with his daughter. There are upwards of eight 
thousand inhabitants in the town of Sahatwd^r, a place of great trade. The 
tribe once held three other important positions in the neighbourhood ; but they 
were subdued by the Sahatw&rs, who seized their lands, and reduced them to 
the condition of labourers. 

(a) Report of the Genflns of the North- Weatem Provinces for 1865, Vol. IT., p. 9. 

(6) Wilson's Glossary of Indian Terms, p. 94. 

(c) Report of the Gensus of the North- Western Proyinces for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., p. 106. 


The Einw&r BhMnh&rs are ignorant of their early family association with 
the Kinw&r Rajpoots. They, however, assign the same place as their primitive 
home as that given by the latter, namely Earn&t Padampftr, that is, Padamptir 
in the Camatic, which they imagine to be near Delhi, instead of in Southern 
India (a). 

The Kinw&rs, like many other Rajpoot tribes, while of high rank in one 
district, are of comparatively inferior rank in others. For instance, in the district 
of Bh^alpftr, the KinwS^rs are numerous, and are held in high estimation; 
but in Gorakhpftr, where there are between six and seven thousand members 
of the tribe, they are held in little consideration. 

Bijhoniya . 

A tribe found in the district of JaunpAr, where it numbers a few hundred 
families. It does not seem to have branches in other districts. 


A small community of Rajpoots inhabiting the Gorakhptkr district, and 
claiming to be a distinct tribe. 


An inconsiderable colony of Rajpoots found at Mauhgahni and Haveli, in 
the Benares district. 


These Rajpoots are found in small numbers both in Benares and in Kop&- 
chit of Ghazipftr (6). The tribe is of the Easyap gotra. 

(a) See Dr. W. 01dham*8 Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipiir District, Fart I., pp. 60, 61. 
(h) Elliotts Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 89. 





This tribe of Rajpoots is found in many parts of the North Western Pro- 
vinces. Its original seat is Bundelkhand, where the city of Mahoba was the 
capital of its territory, which seems to have extended to the Narbuddha, and was 
called Chandeli. It does not occupy a high position among Rajpoots, as is mani- 
fest from its not intermarrying with the superior races. " In the lower Doab," 
says Wilson, " they are divided into four tribes, bearing the several Hindu 
designations of a ruler or king, as. Raja, Rao, Rllna, and R4wat." " The chiefs 
of the SheorSjpur Chandels are known as the Rajah of Sheortjpfir, the Rao 
of S&npai, the RS,na of Sakrej, and the RS.wat of R&wathpftr. The chiefs of 
NMagarh, Kahlftr, and Bil^pAr, are Chandels, and the first-named acknowledge 
a connection with the Raja of Kumaon" (a). 

The Chandelas of Azimgarh number seven thousand, and came, it is asserted, 
from Khaparha in Jaunpftr. They settled in the pargannah of Nathupftr, where 
they acquired much land. A char^ or embankment, formed on the bed of 
streams by a stoppage or diversion of their course, was thrown up between the 
Kutabi lake and the river Ghogra. " Of this char^'^ says Mr. Thomason, " the 
Chandels took possession. Their prosperity kept pace with the increase of the 
char; and the Chandels of the DeobS,rl are now one of the most flourishing 
clans'' (6). The Chandelas of GorakhpAr are not permitted to marry the 
daughters of the principal tribes of the district. 

There are many of this race in the MirzapAr district. Those living in the 
south are said to have been excommunicated from their tribe on account of their 
intermarriage with the aborigines of that neighbourhood, and consequently are 

(a) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 72. 

(5) Mr. Thomason's Report of the Ceded Portion of the Azimgarh District, p. 18. 


in effect a separate caste. This people appear to have held possession of 
Bundelkhand for several hundred years ; but their power ^ and influence have, 
to a great extent, died away. In the JhSnst district they do not retain a single 

Mahoba, their ancient capital, was evidently the great centre whence they 
emigrated in various directions. Those that entered Mirzapftr fled from Prithi 
Raj when he defeated Brimaditya, the son of their leader Parimal. They 
expelled the B&land race ; and were themselves subdued and driven away by 
Raja Balwant Singh of Benares about the middle of the last century. The 
Chandel Rajas of Agort, Barhar, and Bijaigarh, would have been completely 
exterminated had it not been for the generosity of the Indian Government, who, 
on gaining possession of the country, restored them to their former homes (a). 
In the pargannahs of Agort, Barhar, Bijaigarh, and Singrauli, the Chandel 
Rajpoots still possess a great portion of the villages. A list of the former 
Rajas of Agorl will be found at the end of this section. 

The Rajpoot races have ever delighted in warfare, which circumstance has 
mainly contributed to thjeir diffusion throughout the country. When their own 
principalities fell into the hands of their enemies, or a sharp reverse occurred 
even perhaps of less magnitude than this, instead of remaining in their old 
towns and villages, numbers started in various directions under leaders or chiefs 
for regions more or I6ss distant, where they might be their own'^masters 
again, and live in comparative security. He^ they either formed new clans, or 
new branches of the oTd tribe. The absorption of their lands by their enemies 
would be ill-brooked by a proud and courageous people. And, moreover, in 
those earlier days, extensive tracts of country seem to have been entirely in the 
hands of aboriginal tribes, like the Bhars, Kols, Gonds, and the like, whose 
lands must have appeared very tempting ^4>o a warlike people dispossessed of 
their own estates. 

The Chandels entered the province of Oudh as emigrants from the south, 
at a distant period of Indian history. They first settled at Surajpftr in the 
Cawnpiir district ; and subsequently some of the clan crossed over the Ganges 
and dwelt in the pargannah of Bangarmau, where their descendants still occupy 
twelve villages. Even up to the time of the Mutiny, the Raja of Surajpftr was 
a man of great importance, both for the antiquity of his family and the extent of 
his possessions. It is not improbable that the cause of the original emigration 

(a) £lliot*s Supplemental Glossary, YoL I., pp. 72, 3. 


of the tribe from the south waJa the terrible conflict waged between the Chandel 
and the Ghauh&n Hajpoots, in which the former were defeated (a). The tribe in 
Oadh sends two chiefs to the Governor General's Durbar- 

This tribe is numerous in the district of Sh&hjah&npAr, where it has posses- 
sion of no fewer than one hundred and ninety-seven villages. It is most power- 
ful to the south of the district, and years ago the Chandelas of that tract gave 
much trouble to the Government, by whom they were called Kandhar Thfikurs, 
from the name of their chief village. The large estates of the clan are in the 
hands of nearly three hundred proprietors, the head of whom is Raja Dalel 
Singh (b). 

The large village of Sakhrej, in the Cawnp^r district, is divided into four 
portions, two being occupied by Brahmans, and two, called severally Dhakan 
and Hiraman, from two chiefs, by Chandel Rajpoots. These two tribes have 
been located there for many generations (c). The Chandels prevail throughout 
the entire pargannah. Rftna Siva R&j Singh and R4na Eadam Singh were 
formerly the recognized leaders of the clan. In the SivarfijpAr pargannah the 
Raja of that name was the head of the Chandels. His family was a branch of 
the Eanouj Chandels. In the BithOr pargannah^ not long since, they held as 
many as sixty-five villages. Their principal men were Raja Durga Parshd.d, of 
Bah&durnagar, Raja Eftber Singh, of Panki Gang& Gangi, Raja Pahalw&n 
Singh, of Sapai, and RMt Ghansiam Singh, of Rawalpikr, who were all related 
to the Sivar&jptr family. 

The Chandels of Fathpftr came originally from M&lwft. They afterwards 
emigrated to Ealingar in Bundelkhand, and thence moved on to Mahoba. The 
Raja of Seordjp(kr is the head of the clan in the district of Fathpitar. 

The descendants of the family of the Chandels which settled in Agort, in the 
southern part of the Mirzapftr district, and, in the commencement of the thirteenth 
century, subdued the Baland Raja, of the aboriginal Kharw&r tribe, taking pos- 
session of his fort and territory, have preserved a brief record of their race 
from those early times nearly to the present day. It is prefaced by a list of 
Riyas of Mahoba prior to the migration of the Chandels to Agori. 

Xa) Mr. C. A. Elliott*s Chrotiiclefl of Oonao, p. 2S. 

(b) Censiu of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, Vol L, Appendix B., p. 56. 

(c) Report of the Gawnpiir District, p. 69. 



Lords of Mahoba Nagar before the Defeat of the Chandels bt Frithi Raj. 

Raja Suraj Brahm. 
Nal Ghokh. 
Kol Brahm. 
Par Mai Brahm. 
Kal Brahm. 









Baja Ranjit Brahm. 
PuraD Brahm. 
Chitur Brahm. 
BaraDg Deo. 
Harang Deo. 





Chandel Rajas of Agori. 

Baja Bhari Mai. 

Came from Mahanagar, and settled in Agori, killing the ancient Baland Baja 

raling over the aboriginal Kharwars, and dispersing his family. 

I^arayan Deo. 

Hari Singh Deo. 

Was attacked by the descendants of the old Baland Baja, and put to death, together 

with all the members of his family except one of his Banees, who^ escaping, gave 

birth to a son, Oran Deo (a). 

Oran Deo. 

Was married to the daughter of the Oaharw&r Baja of Elantit, by whose assistance 

he recovered the fort of Agori and the possessions attached to it. 






IMhh Deo. 



Darak Deo. 



BSj Mai Deo. 



B&j Dhar Deo. 



Daryau Deo. 



Dandu Kai. 

Bf^a Darp Nar&yan. 
Madan Singh. 

S&jan Sahi. Had two sons. 
L&l S&hi. Had two sons. 
Ikshal Sahi. Had two sons. 
Fath Bah&dur. Had two sons. 



Had three sons : — 

1. PrithiB&j. 

2. Darp Nar&yan. 

3. Chatur Bhoj Bai. 

Prithi Baj became Baja of Bijaigarh ; Darp 
Narayan remained in Agoii ; Chatur Bhoj Bai 
received the Talluqa or estate of Iman Darawal 
consisting of forty-two villages. 
Had two sons, Madan Singh, and Babu Madhu Singh. 
Had four sons. 




Sankar S&hu. Had two sons. 

Sambhft S&h. Was expelled from Agori Barhari by Balwant Singh, Biya of Benares. 

Had one son. 

(a) See a ftdl account of these events in the description of the aboriginal tribe of EharwArs. 


19. Baja Lai Sheodit Nftrajan. Had three sons. 

20. Adil Sah. Was restored to the Bajaship of Agori Barhar in 1781, from which 
Samhhft Sah had heen expelled. He died chOdless in 1794, and was succeedetl 
by his nephew. 

21. „ Ran Bahadur Sah. Was invested with the tilak of Baja during the life-time of 

Adil Sab. Had two sons. 

22. „ Makaradhwaj Sah. Died a few months after his father. 

23. „ Ragbunath S&h. Waived his claim in favour of his son. 

The Chandelas of Benares are few in number, yet possess wealth and 
influence. They are mostly landholders. They profess to belong to the 
Chandrayan or Chandrasen gofra or order. 


This tribe of Rajpoots is much less known, and is much less famous, 
than some of those already described. Nevertheless, it has points of interest 
attached to it of a special character. The origin of these Rajpoots is said to be 
as follows. ^^ Claiming, like the Gautam Rajpoots,'' remarks Mr. A. O. Hume, 
^' to be descended from Singhi or Siringht Rish, and a daughter of the then 
monarch of Kanouj, they pretend that their own immediate ancestor, Puran- 
deo ( or Surandeo, as some have it ), son of Padam Rish, and grandson of the 
homed sage Singhi Rish, having received the tilak from Raja Dallp of Antar, 
migrated southwards, and established an important kingdom in the Deccan, or, 
as most will have it, Ceylon. This constant allusion to a monarchy of Rajpoots 
in Ceylon, which haunts us at every turn of the irold traditions, may embalm 
some long-forgotten reality ; but nothing as yet discovered warrants our treat- 
ing it as any thing but a pure myth. For seventy -two generations the Sengarhs 
ruled in the far south, whence, moving to Dhara ( Dhar ? ), for fifty-one more 
generations their sovereignty remained intact. Thence they appear to have 
been forced to migrate to Bandhu ; whence, again, six generations later, they 
moved to Eanar, a place near Jaggamanpftr. Here it was that, in the one hundred 
and thirty-seventh generation from Singhi Rish— or Sukdeo, as he is indiffer- 
ently called — the founder of the modern fortunes of the Sengarh Raj first saw 
the light. I entertain no doubt that he is a real historical personage. He 
married Deokulah, the daughter of Jai Chand, apparently the B&thor Raja of 
Eanouj, who, in 1194 A. D., was defeated somewhere in the Etawah dis- 
trict by Shah&b-ud-din Ghorl, who, it is said, plundered Etawah itself about the 
same time." 


Mr. Hume goes on to show in what way the fall of the great and ancient 
kingdom of Eanouj paved the way for the establishment of the principalities, 
of the Sengarh and Chauh&n tribes of Rajpoots. ^^Bisakdeo took possession of 
the whole of the western parts of the present district. His descendants allege 
that he received it in dower, on his marriage with the daughter of the Eanouj Raja, 
on condition of exterminating the Meos, who were then ravaging the whole 
country. But this seems scarcely likely, since at the time of his marriage, the 
Kings of Delhi claimed sovereignty over this tract, and had made, about the 
time of the famous battle of Tirouri, a grant of a portion of it to one of their own 
employes'' (a). It seems that after the downfal of the Delhi and Kanouj king- 
doms, in 1193 and 1194 severally, the Mahomedan conqueror showed favour to 
the Sengarhs, and permitted them to retain possession of some portions of 
the present district of Etawah, which they had forcibly occupied. From that 
time to the present, the clan has held the lands acquired in those early times. 
One other family, descendants of the famous Chandan Singh, entered the dis- 
trict during the last century, when the country was governed by the Nawab of 
Oudh, and by force and fraud gaine'd immense estates. ^^ To this day," says Mr. 
Hume, the Sengarh river, along whose rugged banks they fought in old times 
so many bloody battles, remains a lasting monument of their former greatness 
and importance. Not many petty tribes have had the name of a considerable 
river changed in their honour ; yet such has been the case with the Sengarh, 
since the Sengarh, if tradition speaks truly, once bore the name of Besind " (ft). 

It is interesting and instructive to note the course taken by officers of 
Government in the settiement of the revenue of this part of the country. If 
six hundred years of uninterrupted possession of lands does not constitute a 
substantial legal claim to them, it is hard to see by what titie any lands can be 
held at all. Hear what Mr. Hume, the magistrate and collector of the district, 
says. " Amongst the Sengarhs," he remarks, the " only important family that 
has not held its present estates for many generations, is that which the sons and 
grandsons 6f the famous Chandan Singh now represent. Chandan Singh's 
&tiier, Saddan Singh, a Biswahd&r of a single village, but prime favourite of 
ihe great Aumil Bhagmal (the representative here, shortiy before the introduc- 
tion of our rule, of tiie Oudh Grovemment) — partiy by force, pardy by fraud, but 
mainly by the favour of his patron — acquired immense landed possessions, to 

(a) GeDBUs of the Norih-Westerii Fh)Tince8 for 1865, Vol. I,, App. B., Memorandum by Mr. A. 0. Hune, 

pp. «1, 2. 
(ft) Ibid, p. 82. 

I— 1 


which he had no equitable claim. While numbers of those villages which the 
Sengarh princes had ruled for full six hundred years were settled away from 
them^ with servants, retainers, farmers, family priests, and the like, several of 
Chandan Singh's ill-gotten mehals^ which he had forfeited by failure to pay the 
Government demand and to which he seems not to have had the remotest rights 
were settled with his sons, in total disregard of the real owners." Well may 
Mr. Hume remark on a system characterized by such shortsightedness and 
.njustice that ^^in Oudh it cost us many of our best and bravest, and all but lost 
us India" (a). 

This tribe is also numerous in the districts of Cawnptb: and Azimgarh* 
In Jalaun likewise it holds many villages, which are to the north-east of the 
district near the Jumna, and is represented by the Raja of Jagmohanpftr. 
There are a few hundreds of this clan in the JhS^nst district. Those residing in 
the GhaziptU* district are distinguished for their determined resistance to 
Balwant Singh, Baja of Benares, in the last century {b). This chief had acquired 
immense authority and enormous estates stretching over some thousands of square 
miles of territory, from which he had ruthlessly expelled their former owners. 
He was, however, stoutly opposed by the Sengarhs of Ghazipdr. These belong* 
ed to the Laknesar barony, where t^ey had been for a long period. The Raj|^ 
incensed at the spirit they displayed, conducted a large force into the heart of 
their fastness. But here he was greatly hampered by the ravines and the 
jungle. For two days they resisted his successive attacks. From their loop-holed 
forts and houses they dealt deadly destruction upon the Raja's retainers. The 
issue of this famous fight was gratifying to the brave clan, and has been a subject; 
of exultation among their descendants down to the present time. The Raja was. 
obliged to agree to a compromise, and permitted the Sengarhs to retain their 
estates on the payment of a small revenue. The fruit of their bravery is con* 
spicuously seen now that the country is under British rule, for the amount of 
land revenue annually paid by the Sengarhs, settled in accordance with the 
original arrangement made by them with Raja Balwant Singh, is now only nine 
annas^ or thirteen pence half-penny, per acre, the lowest sum paid in the whole 
of the Benares Province, excepting the sums paid by the hill-people in th«i 
Mirzaptlr district* 

(a) Censtui of the NorUi- Western FroTinces for 1865, YoL I., App. B., Memorandum by Mr. A. 0. Hume, 
p. 83. 

(() See Balwwit*n&ma or an Historical Account of Raja Balwant Singh. 


Further information respecting these Sengarbs of Ghazipdr, is given by 
Dr. Wilton Oldham in his very valuable work on the GhazipAr district, to which 
I have had occasion repeatedly to refer. "An important and interesting branch 
of the Sengarh tribe of Bajpoots occupy part of Zuhurfibftd, and the whole of 
the adjacent pargannah of Laknesar. The Sengarhs state that their ancestors, 
Hari and £lr Th&kurs, came from Phuphiind, of Zillah (district of) Etawah, and 
took service with the Bhar Baja of the northern part of the district. On one 
occasion, having been struck by the Kaja, they and their adherents attacked and 
killed him, and took possession of the country. The descendants of Hari 
Th&kur occupied Laknesar pargannah. Those of Btr ThS^kur are settled partly 
in pargannah Zuhur&bftd, and partly in a portion of Sekandarpiir, in the Azim- 
garh district, which, prior to 1840 A. D., was included in the Kopichit pargan- 
nah of this district. Fifteen generations are counted from the time of the first 
founders of the clan to the present day. 

^^ The Sengarhs are all devoted to the worship of a deified member of the 
tribe named Amar Singh, who lived, I believe, about two hundred years ago. 
He is worshipped under the designation of K&th B&bft ; and several temples to 
his honour have been erected in Rasserah, the chief village of pargannah 

^^ Before the establishment of the British authority, the Sengarhs, of Lak- 
nesar, had managed to establish for themselves an unrivalled reputation for 
courage, independence, and insubordination. This reputation they preserved 
unimpaired during the first years of our administration. When Mr. Duncan, 
resident of Benares, visited the pargannah^ arrows were fired at his body-guard 
from the forts of the Sengarhs. This offence was pardoned by Mr. Duncan, 
whose forbearance and moderation were only surpassed by his abilities. Mur- 
ders committed in a blood-feud were condoned. The entire pargannah was 
settled, as the undivided estate of the whole clan with their Chaudhris or head- 
men, on the same easy terms on which they had previously held it under the 
Raja of Benares and the Nawab Vizier of Oudh. The Sengarhs, nevertheless, 
failed to pay the Government revenue ; and the Collector of Benares, in 1798, 
was obliged to proceed against them with military force. With some trouble 
ke arrested the Chaudhris, reduced them to submission, induced them to agree 
to pay an enhanced revenue, and levelled their forts. On their failing to pay 
this enhanced revenue, the pargannah was sold by auction for balances to the 
Raja of Benares. The Raja in vain attempted to get possession ; and, subse- 
quently, the sale was cancelled by the order of Government, and the Sengarhs 


re-admitted to settlement on their former revenue. No detailed record of own- 
ership has hitherto been prepared for this pargannah ; but it is now in course 
of preparation. The properties of the different shareholders are intermixed in 
a most intricate manner. No decree of the Civil Court giving possession to any 
purchaser by auction or by private sale, has ever been executed, owing to the 
impossibility of identifying the property of any one of the proprietors. The 
Sengarhs have abandoned their old habits of contumacy and insubordination. 
They behaved well during the Mutiny ; and are now peaceful and loyal citizens. 
Their chief town, Sasserah, contains a population of 5,689, and is a place of 
great trade (a)." 

The Sengarhs of Oudh first entered the country in the time of the emperor 
Baber, when two Rajpoots of the clan, Jagat S&h and Gop&l Singh, proceeded 
thither from Jagmohanpiir across the Jumna, in the service of Shaikh Bayasdd, 
who had been placed in charge of the province. These settled in E^antha, and 
were followed by another family which settled in Parsandan. The families 
remained peaceably for eleven generations, during which time they kept the Lodhs^ 
who had been the original landholders, and whom they had apparently dispos- 
sessed, in subjection. But in the eleventh generation the Lodhs suddenly fell 
upon the Sengarhs of Eantha with such friry that they killed most of the men, 
but suffered the women and children to escape. This outrage, however, was 
soon avenged by the surviving Sengarhs with the aid of their clansmen, whom 
they brought with them from Jagmohanpik, whither they had fled. They not 
only recovered the lands which had been lost, but also drove out a considerable 
body of Pathans, who, for some time, had been encroaching on their territory. 

These Sengarhs now occupied two places, Kantha and Manora ; and the 
other family of Parsandan also broke up into two branches, one remaining in the 
original home, the other establishing itself at Eosari. At the present day, the 
Sengarhs of Parsandan possess eight villages ; those at Eosari, eight ; those at 
Manora, nine ; and those at Eantha, eight. See a very interesting descriptive 
account of the Sengarhs of Oudh in Mr. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao, from 
which this information has been derived. 

This clan has also possessions in the Fathpiir district. They are said to 
have come from Bundelkhand. They are found in several pargannahs. A few 
also are met with in the Agra district. They have representatives likewise in 

* . i . . "  ' 

(a) Pr. W. Oldham's StatUtical Memoir of the Ghasipilr District, pp. 57, 58. 


The Sengarhs hold many villages in the north-eastern part of the Etah dis- 
trict, near the banks of the Jumna. The principal man amongst them is the 
Baja of Jagmohanp^. They are a turbulent race, and gave trouble in the 
Mutiny. There are a few hundreds of them in Jhftnsl, to which place they ar^ 
said to have come from Jagmohanp^r, some three hundred years ago. 


There is some doubt whether this tribe is of Brahmanical or Rajpoot origin^ 
Its numerous members in the Agra district profess to belong to the Solar Bace 
of Rajpoots, and to have come, several hundred years ago, at different tiAies, from 
Sakarw&rt, a small district of Gwalior, on the right bank of the Ghambal. They 
fii'st settled in the Kheragarh pargannah^ where they held possession of twelve 
villages (a). The name, says Colonel Tod, was derived from Fathpftr Sikri, which 
was once an independent principality. They are of the S&ndil gotra^ or order. 

The Sakarw&rs are powerful and very wealthy in the ZamS^niah pargannah 
of the Ghazipiir district. They affirm that their ancestors emigrated from Fath- 
p6r Sikri, in the Agra district. They are evidently therefore related to the Agra 
Sakarw&rs, and yet, strange to say, claim to be descended not from Bajpoots, but 
from Misr Brahmans. This claim, however, cannot be allowed. They look up 
to the mythical Baja Gadh, as their common ancestor, who had, they say, four 
sons, Achal, Abchal, SS^ran, and Bohl. Considerable confusion has sprung up 
among the descendants of these sons, for while some regard themselves as Sakar- 
wdr Bajpoots, others speak of themselves as Sakarw&r BhMnh&rs. This will be 
manifest by examining the following genealogical chart. 

Sakanodrs of Zamdniah Pttrgannak^ Ohazipur. 

Raja Gadh. 


Abcnal. Sfiran. 




1 i 
Saihu. Pliran Mai. ffis descendants are Sdcir- 

His descendants sre Sakar- 

wftr Bhafnhars, and inhabit His descend- His descend- wftr BhfUnhars— ^uid are wftr Bhiiinhftrs— and are 

Sohwal, Patkania, and other ants are Sakar- ants are Sakar- settled in Saringa and Boha- settled in Saringa and Roba- 

villages in the North-East w&r Rajpoots, wftr Bhftinhftrs, nfi, in the Sbahibftd dis- ntli, in the Shah&bAd dia- 

ol the Z am & nf a h Pargan- They are power- and are very tricL trict. 

nah. fol and nnmer- numerous. Two 

ous. They in- of their villages 

habit the large are Sherpflr and 

village of Gah- BeotipAr, each , 

mar and other having a popula- 

villages. tion of about 

10,000 persons. > '" 

The distinction here drawn between Bajpoots and BhMnh&rs, who are really of 
the same race, is strange and inexplicable. The truth is that the word Bhi!di]Aiftr 

(a) Report of the Cenaua of the North- Western Frounces for 1865, Part L, Appendix B., p. 67. > 


applies to Haj poets as well as to Brahmans ; yet why the same clan should make 
use of both terms, is by no means apparent. 

Some ten generations ago, Marhar Rai, a descendant of Fiiran Mai, became 
a Mahomedan. His family now occupies fourteen villages on the banks of the 
Earamn&sa, called Eamsar. The Sakarw&r Rajpoots are, for the most part, poor, 
while the SakarwSr Bhdlnh&rs are generally in good circumstances (a.) 

In the district of Unao, in Oudh, the Sakarw&rs occupy nine or ten Tillages 
in the Asoha pargannah. They have lost their family traditions, and are weak 
and inconsiderable. Mr. C. A. Elliott thinks, however, there is reason to 
believe " that they are a portion of the same Sakarw&rs who, immigrating into 
Oudh from the west, settled in the Fyzabad district, near Dostpur. These 
latter," he adds, " certainly are earlier colonists than the Bachgott R&jkumSx 
Rajas, who have now nearly succeeded in reducing them to servitude, and 
whose immigration was contemporaneous with that of the Chauh^ns of Chau- 
hSn4. The latter probably colonized their present position in 1350 A. D., and 
belong to the first class of colonists ; and, consequently, if the above line of 
reasoning be correct, the Sakarw&rs, who are earlier than they, belong to the 
first class also" (b). 

The Tuppeh of Harbanspiir, in the Azimgarh district, seems to have been 
long in the hands of the SakarwS^rs, a remnant of whom still survive in Uncha- 
gdon. The Rajas laid waste their lands in order to strengthen their forts by 
encouraging the growth of jungle upon them, and the Sakarw4rs were 
expelled (c). There is a small though flourishing colony of the tribe inhabiting 
certain parts of the Benares district. They are chiefly zamindars or landholders. 


These are Rajpoots of the Lunar race, and are found in the Kop&chit par- 
gannah of the Gbazipftr district. Like the SakarwS^r Rajpoots they claim to be 
descended from Raja Gadh, the mythical founder of the 6adhipi!tr district, which 
is supposed by some natives, though probably erroneously, to have been the 
original name of the Ghazipiir district. The Kausik traditions affirm that the 
two branches of the clan were founded as follows : that in Ghazipftr by two 
brothers, Del Chand and Sel Chand ; and that in the Gorakhpftr district by the 
Raja of Gop&lpih*, whose descendant is still at the head of the Kauisiks there. 

(a) Dr. W. 01dliam*8 Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipiir Diatrict, Part I., p. 64. 

(h) Mr. G. A. EUiott*8 Chrooicles of Oonao, p. 44. 

(c) Mr» Thomason's Report of the Ceded Portions of the Azimgarh District^ p. 17. 


Although the Eausiks are worshippers of idols, yet their gurtis, or spiritual 
guides, are not so, but belong to a monotheistic sect peculiar to Ghaziptlr (a). 

The Eausiks of Gorakhpftr inhabit the territory which their ancestors are said 
to have taken from the Bhars, the original occupiers and lords of that part of 
the country. This aboriginal race is elsewhere noticed in detail. 

There are several thousands of this tribe in Hamlrpttr. There is likewise 
a small community in Benares, who are mostly engaged in trade of various 
kinds, or as higher class servants. The tribe is strong in various parts of 
Azimgarh ; for example, in Deogan w, Mahul, and Gop&lp&r. . According to the 
Atn i Akbarl, they were formerly landed proprietors in the district of Jaun- 
pftr (6). 


A tribe of Rajpoots in the Ghazipiir district. They are found both in the 
Sh&dlabad and Pachhotar pargannahs (c). 


One of the numerous small tribes of Rajpoots found in the province of 
Benares. A few families are met with in the Gorakhpiir district* 


A considerable community in the Azimgarh district, where it numbers 
about a thousand families, or nearly five thousand persons. It is found also in 
Sikandarpiir and Bhadaon, and also in Saidpiir-Bhitri, in the Ghazipiir dia* 
trict (d). 

Horiya or Horaiya. 

A few families of this small tribe of Rajpoots are found in the village of 
Sarsaw&n, of the district of Benares, and also in Mirzap^. A much larger 
community is settled in the neigbouring district of Jaunp^, especially about 
MartShii, amounting to between three and four thousand persons (e). They are 
said to be of the Sombanst or Lunar race of Rajpoots. 

(a) See fbrther information respecting this tribe in Dr. W. Oldham's Statistical Memoir of the Ghaci* 

piir District^ Part I., pp. 62, 63. 
(5) Supplemental Qlossarj, Vol. I., p. 157, 
(c) Ibid, p. 89. 
{d) iK^p. 56. 
(e) Beport of the Censos of the North- Western ProTinces for 186S» YoL IL» p. 9. 




This is said to be the most numerous tribe of Rajpoots in the North- West- 
em Provinces. Their common home is the district of BaiswS^ra in Oudh, a 
tract of country bounded on the west by Cawnpdr, on the east by the river Sai, 
on the south by the Chft&b stream, and on the north by Dikhtan. The tribe is 
considered by Tod and others, but erroneously, to belong to the thirty-six royal 
tribes of Rajpoots. It was the opinion of Tod, that the clan is a subdivision of 
the Surajbansi tribe. Dundia Ehera in BaiswS^ra seems to have been, according 
to tradition, the spot where the tribe sprang from ; yet they assert that their 
remote ancestors came from Mungi Paitun in the Dekhan. They regard them- 
selves as of the same lineage as S&liv&hana, the king of that place in A. D. 78, 
and the author of the S&ka era (a) ; but there is no proper foundation for this 
notion. The tribe can intermarry with the Chauh&ns, Kachhw&hfis, and other 
distinguished Rajpoot races. The branch styled Tilak-Chandra, professes supe- 
riority to all the rest, and only gives its daughters in marriage to Rajpoots of 
high blood (ft). There are four divisions or clans of these Tilak-Chandra Bais 
Rajpoots, namely, Rao, Raja, Naithft, and Sainbasi, who look upon the Gautam 
Raja of Argal as the founder of their fortunes. The Bais Rajpoots have, if 
their own statements can be believed, three hundred and sixty separate clans (c). 

In Bulandshahr, the ancestor of the Bais landholders of Earan obtained 
from the emperor of Delhi a grant of twelve villages, which they hold to the 
present day. In the district of Badaon this tribe has occupied the barony of 
Kot Salbhan for the last three hundred years. There are two principal families 

(a) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, VoL I., pp. IS, 14. 

(J) Wilson's Qlossaiy, p. 48. 

(c) Elliot's Glossary, Vol. I^ p. Iff. 


which are descendants of the two sons of Dultp Singh, their original chief, who 
is reputed to have come from Baisw&ra, in Oudh. The head of one has the 
title of Rai, and of the other, of Chaudhri. In the district of Agra the tribe is 
found, for the most part, in the Ehandauli division, where they have been for a 
hundred years or so. About four or five hundred years ago, some of the tribe, 
having left Singrd.mpftr, took seiTice under the Behar Taluqdars, or great lan<l- 
holders, of Saurik and Sakatptir, in the district of Farakhab&d ; but they were 
too strong for the Taluqdars, and wresting their lands from them, gave the name 
of Baispiir to their own village. In Etah they possess the villages of Nardauli 
and Sekandarpftr-Bais, in the division of Nidhpftr. They are people of consi- 
derable influence and importance in Fathpftr ; and are described as having 
come from Harha, in Oudh. One of their number, Ghisa Sd,h, has the honour 
of having planted the villages of D&ndrS,, Banarsi, Hariftpftr and Bamrauli ; 
and his brother, Daya S&h*, the village of Baij&nt. But the tribe in those parts 
has become weakened of late years. 

A detachment of these Rajpoots seems to have settled at Jh&nsi, in Bundel- 
khand, at the close of the fifteenth century, or thereabouts. A class of Ban- 
Bais Rajpoots is found in the Allahabad district, who, having come in contact 
with the Bhar and Kol aborigines, dispossessed them of their lands, which they 
have retained for several hundred years. The prefix ban means jungle, and 
refers to the condition of the country when they acquired it (a). 

The Bais- Rajpoots are found in the pargannah of Bahariab&d in the Ghazi- 
piir districts, and are descended from one Baghel Rai, who is supposed to have 
colonized a portion of jungle-land there some fifteen generations ago. They 
are proprietors of ten or twelve villages at the present day {b). 

In regard to intermarriages with other clans, Sir. H. Elliot observes, that 
" the ordinary Bais of our Provinces give their daughters in marriage, amongst 
others, to Sengarhs, Bhadaurias, Chauh&ns, Eachh w&has, . Gautams, Parih&rs, 
Dikshits, and Gaharw&rs ; and receive daughters in marriage from Banfi,phars, 
Jinwars, Ehtchars, Ragbansts, RaikwiLrs, and the Earcholi Gahlots " (c). 

This tribe is very powerful in the province of Oudh, where it takes the leader- 
ship of Rajpoots of every clan. Mr. 0. A. Elliott, in his * Chronicles of Oonao,' 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western ProTincei for 186^, Appendix B., pp. 16, 46, 69, 74, 

94, 100, 103, 124. 

(fr) Dr. W. 01dham*s Statistical Memoir of the Qhazip^ District, p. 65. 
(c) £lliot*8 Supplemental Glossary, Vol I., p. 14. 

K— 1 


has paid special attention to the Bais annals, and from the minuteness and care 
displayed in his account, may be regarded as the chief authority respecting the 
tribe. His information has been gained by personal and extensiye intercourse 
with leading men of the dan. I shall proceed to give an outline of hia narratiye* 
While acknowledging that the Bais Rajpoots assert themselves to be descend- 
ed from S&livdhana, conqueror of Yikramajit, of Ujain, Mr. Elliott gives his own 
opinion, that the tribe sprang from the union of a Chauh&n and a Kumh&r. 
^^ About 1250 A. D., the Gautam Raja of Argal refused to pay tribute to the 
Lodi king of Delhi, and defeated the Governor of Oudh, who sent a force against 
him. Soon after this defeat the Ranee, without his knowledge, and with no fit- 
ting escort, went secretly to bathe in the Ganges at Buxar (a), on the festival 
of the new moon. The Governor of Oudh heard of it, and sent men to the ghdt 
to capture her. Her escort was dispersed, and she was on the point of being 
made prisoner, when she lifted the covering of her litter, and cried, ^ Is there 
here no Kshatriya who will rescue me from the barba^an, and save my honour 7 
Abhai Chand and Nirbhai Chand, two Bais Rajpoots from Mungi PfttaD, heard 
her and came to her rescue, beat off her assailants, and guarded her litter till 
she arrived safely in Argal. Nirbhai Chand died of his wounds ; but Abhai Chand 
recovered ; and the Raja, in gratitude for his gallant rescue, though he was of 
inferior caste, gave him his daughter in marriage, and with her as dowry all 
the lands on the north of the Ganges over which the Gautam bore rule. He 
also conferred on his son-in-law the title of Rao, which is still the highest dig- 
nity among the Raises" {by Sir Henry Elliot adds, that ^ the Gautam Raja offered 
the bride all the villages of which she could pronounce the names without drawing 
breath. She accordingly commenced ; and after reciting five lines of names, had 
proceeded as far as Panch-g&nw, when the Raja's son, fearing tiiat his posses- 
sions would be lost to him, seiaed hold of the bride's throat, uui prevented fur- 
ther utterance" (c). 

(a) <^ Buxar is doae to Dmdk Kbora. Sir H. M. Elliot, in hia article on the word Bais in the Sapple- 
mental Glosaarj, places the locale of this story at Allahabad. I have given here the tradition current in 
Baisw&ra, which I think more probable (1), because Buxar is closer to Argal, and is the nearest ghat she 
oenid have gone to; (2) because Allahabad, being a mueh-freqaented gkat^ tiie Ranee wonld hardly bsre goae 
there without escort in any case ; (3) because the town being the residence of the Governor of a Subah (or 
Province), she would have been running into the lion*s mouth by going there.** p. 66. 

fjb} ^ I Btaite this after careful enquiry from the best Pandits and Bhats. The conunon beKef is, that 
the Raja is the higher title ; but this probably arises only from the fact that it is so with the ne^bouring 
clans. The Bus Raja never had as large a territory as the Rao, a fhct which in itself U oonchisxve.** p. 66. 

(c) Elliotts Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 117. 



^^ Abhai Cband fixed his home in Dundia Khera ; and the title and estate 
descended in an unbroken line through seven generations to Tilakchand, the 
great eponymous hero of the clans, who are called after him Tilakchandi Baises, 
in contradistinction to odier branches of the same tribe. He lived about 1400 
A. D., and extended the Bais domination over all the neighbouring country; and 
it is from his victories that the limits of Baisw&ra became definitively fixed. 
The tract is universally said to include twenty-two pargannahs (or sub-divisions) ; 
and though there is considerable discrepancy in the various lists of those par- 
gannahs which are furnished from different quarters, the following list is probably 

The BaiswSra Territory. 

DistrictB (accordiDg to present disti-ibution). Pai*gannahs (or sob-divisionsr) of the district. 

Bai Bareilly 

• • • 


•• • 


• • • 








































• •• 

• •• 

 • • 

Dnndia Khera. 

• • • 




• •• 


• •• 


• •• 


• • • 


• •• 




• •• 


• •« 


• •• 


• • • 


• •• 


• •• 


• •• 


• •• 


• •• 


• •• 






••• ••• ••• ••• Bijnour. 

Tilakchand, in his capacity of premier Raja of Oudh^ took upon him to 
ennoble persons of low caste at pleasure. His own palankeea-bearers (Eahdrs) 
he raised to the position of Baipoots. It is said also that he elevated a number 


of torch-bearers to the same rank. His creation of A Brahman from a Lodh 
is very curious. "Hunting one day, he was overpowered with thirst, and 
seeing a man drinking by a pond under a mango tree, went up to him, and with- 
out a word took his lota (brass drinking vessel) from his hands, and drank. 
His thirst appeased, the consequences of his act occurred to him (he was liable 
to be degraded from his own caste), and he asked, ^ what caste are you ? ' 
^ Maharaj,' said the other, standing on one leg, ^ I am a Lodh.' ^ No,^ said he, 
^ you mistake, you are an Am-t&ra F&thakh, a Brahman of the mango and the 
poor (a). The creation held good; and to this day the descendants of this 
Lodh rank as Brahmans, and perform the reli^ous duties of the caste without 
giving offence to any of their purer brethren" (b), , 

Before he had sons of his own he adopted a Eayasth ; but after the birth 
of Prithi Chand and Harhiar Deo, he separated him from his family, giving him 
estates of the value of ten thousand pounds near Rai Bareilly, which are still 
in the possession of the Kayasth's family (c). In the time of Deorai, grandson 
of Tilakchand, the head of the Bachgotl Rajpoot tribe in Oudh, who had possessed 
the right of confirming the title of Raja in every Rajpoot family in the province 
by applying the tilak or mark to the brow, abandoned Hinduism, and became a 
Mahomedan. On this the Rajpoots permitted Bhojrai, the second son of Deorai, 
to assume the title of Raja, and also the office of affixing the tilak. The Raos 
of Dftndia Khera have sprung from the eldest son, Bhairo Dfis ; the Rajas of 
Morar Mou from the second son, Bhojrai ; and the Chot-bhais, from the third, 
Kaliyftn • Mai. Harhiar Deo, brother of Prithi Chand, had two sons, who 
belonged to the villages of Sumbasst and Nuhesta in the pargannnh of Behar. 
These two form separate branches of this Tilakchand stock, making with the 
other two, the descendants of Prithi Chand, four distinct branches. 

Mr. Elliott has drawn out a very useful Genealogical Table of the Bais 
tribe, which will be found at the end of this section. Of the families descended 
from these four branches, only three, it seems, besides the Rao of Di^ndia Ehera, 
'* possess estates in the Oonao district They are the Sumbassl family of PShu, 
the Nuhesta house . of Pachimg&on, and the Chot-bhaiya of Sandfinfi. The 
Sand&n& family are much impoverished ; and now possess only two villages 

(a) From am, maDgo, and tal^ a pool. 

{h) Mr. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao, p. 68. 

(c) '* The prefix 'Rai* in Rai Bareilljjis said to arise frcm this, as it is a vcrj common suffix to a Kajasth's 



where they once had sixty. The Pd,hu Taluqa is also much fallen away from 
what it was when Mitrajtt first founded it ; but Bhiip Singh has still some twenty 
villages in his estate" (a). 

^' Mitrajit is a favorite hero with the bards, who tell many stories of his 
prowess, and of the amusement which his rustic plainness occ^ioned at the Delhi 
Court.'* Rao Mardan Sing, ninth in descent from Tilakchand, about 1700 A. D., 
regained the extensive estates, consisting of seven pargannahs or large baronies, 
which had been taken from Baiswdra in the life-time of Tilakchand^ In 
addition, he seized from the Sumbassi branch the greater part of P&than and 
Behar. Mr. Elliott gives some account of the wild life and bravery of Chaitrai^ 
an illegitimate son of Sadauli, whose memory still lives in the numerous bal- 
lads of the country. For further information respecting the Bais tribe in Oudh, 
see Mr. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao, pp. 66 — 82. 

Mr. P. Carnegy mentions that, in the Fachhimrath Pargannah, there are 
five distinct families of Bais Rajpoots, which entered the pargannah at difier- 
ent times. These are : — 

1. The Bais of Malethti. 

2. The Bais of Sohwal and "Rtad. 

3. The Bais of Uchh&pali. 

4. The Bais of R&mptlr Bhagun, Tikrt, &c« 

5. The Bais of Gondor. 

All these families settled in the pargannah at periods varying from two to 
four hundred years ago, and all encountered the Bhars, whom they subdued| 
and occupied their lands. 

There are four other families, divided into eastern and western, of the Bais 
tribe, in the neighbouring pargannah of Mangalsi ; and one in Haveli Oudh. 
It is a singular circumstance, that all these Bais families are despised as well 
as disowned by the Tilakchandi Bais Rajpoots. This is attributed by Mr. Car* 
negy to their low origin, for he conjectures that they have only been admitted 
within the last few centuries to a place among Rajpoot tribes (6). 

The Bais Rajpoots have great influence in the Gh&tamp6r pargannah of 
the Cawnpdr district. Their ancestor, GhS^tam Deo, it is said, drove out the 

(a) Mr. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao, p. 70. 

(b) Mr. P. Cameg7*s Historical Sketch of Fjzahad. 


Ahtrs, and gave his name to the pargannah (a). They recently occupied 
sixteen villages. Those in the Sarh Sallmipto pargannah of the same district, 
are of a different family ; and came from Dundia Ehera in Ottdh. They hold no 
intercourse whatever with the GhJttampiir branch. 

This tribe possesses many villages in the district of Fathpto. In the year 
1848, it had, in one pargannah alone, as many as thirty-seven separate estates. 

There are many tribes of Rajpoots inhabiting the city and district of 
Benares ; but the most numerous of all, are of the race which fonns tiie sub- 
ject of this chapter. As a class they are not wealthy, and therefore do not 
occupy the commanding social position which some other tribes enjoy. They 
are of the BhS.raddwdj gotra. 

( a ) Beport of the GftwnpOr District, p. 108. 


Abhiu Ghand (rescuer of the Gautam Ranee at Bnxar). 



Gh&tam Deo. 
Jajhan Deo. 
Rambhir Deo. 






Rao Bhairo Dds. 
Rao TfirLhand. 
Rao Sanorram. 

Rao Kannk. 

Rao Frithi Raj. 

Rao FCtrandar. 

Rao Mardan Sin^h 
(Nazimof BaiAwdra.) 

He received 
thetitleof Raja, 
and U ancestor 
of the present 
Maharaja Dirg- 
bijai Singh, of 

Hu des- 
cendants are 
called Chot- 
bhiSs. Among 
these is the 
house of San- 


(Ancestor of 
the Sambasst 

Harhiar Deo. 




Earan Rai. 

(Ancestor of 

the Nnhesta 



Gobind Rai. Rdm Singh. 
(Whose descendants 
are small Nuhesta 




Donmu Deo. R^dsfth 

(Ancestor of 
the Taluqdar, of 
Simar- pahftr.) 

Mitrajit. Pahftr 
(Ancestor of 

Kaliyftn Mai. Rilp 1^ 

(Ancestor of 
the Taluqdar 
of Chandania.) 



Rao tUghunftth Udat Singh. Raja Achal 

Singh. (of Behar.) Singh 

(Of Dtodia Khe- „. ^ l«. , (Of Pftrwa; Ka- 
ra.) Hindn Singh, zim of Baisw&ra.) 

([Who was 
driven out of 
Behar by the 

Rao Bhairi Tftl 

Ajtt Singh. 

(Ancestor of 
Rana Beni Mft- 
dhn Bakbsh 

„ I 

(Ancestor of 

Rana Raghu- 

nath Singh, of 

(Rebel Leader.) Kajargfton) 

[Hon. AiMistant 



the Taluqdar (Ancestor of (Ancestor of 
of Kiiria Sa- Hind Pftl Singh, Jaggamftth, Ta- 
tftwan.) Taluqdar or land- luqdar of Simri.) 

ed proprietor ol 



Bhairo Dfis. 

^B^^^t BasJsingh. Umar'singh. 

less, but adopted 
fissant*s son.) 

Babu Debt- 



(Of Pftrwa.) 

R*o RAm-bakhsh Singh. 




Jai Singh Rai 




Bhftp Singh 
(of PAhn.) 

Ghatarpat Bakt Shamaher 

(Ancestor of (Ancestor of (Ancestor of 

Sitft Bakhsh, Mah&bal Singh Jasmohan 

Taluqdar of of Behar. Singn, of (3ian- 

Gaura.) dftpur.^ 


Chananiya or Chanamiyan. 

A tribe calling themselves Rajpoots in the JaunpAr district, where they 
number upwards of a thousand families, or more than five thousand persons (a). 
They are also found in Azimgarh and Gorakhpiir. Wilson says, they are Chan- 
drabansl Rajpoots. Sir H. Elliot states that they are commonly regarded as an 
inferior branch of the Bais tribe. 

Oarg or Oargbansl. 

A tribe found scattered about in small numbers among several districts 
to the east of the Jumna. There are five hundred families in Azimgarh, and 
upwards of a hundred in Mirzapftr. There are also communities of Gargbansls 
in the province of Oudh, and two talicqdars^ or chiefs, represent the tribe at the 
Darbar of the Governor-General on occasion of his visiting the province. They 
are likewise met with in Gorakhpftr. These came from Ajudhiya in Oudh as 
chaklidars of Amorha, in which pargannah they eventually settled (b). They 
are also found in Ratanpiir, Banst, and Ras(llp&r Gaur, in the same district. 

The Gargbansls are of the Kasyap gotra, 

(a) Report of the Census of the North-Western Provinces for 1865, Vol. EC., p. 12. 
(5) Ibid, Vol. L, p. 109. 

L— 1 





This tribe is met with in great numbers in the North- Western Provihces, 
especially in the districts of Mirzapftr, Fathpftr, Azimgarh, Cawnpftr, Gorakh- 
pAr, Benares, and Jaunpftr, which are inhabited by many thousands. They are 
also found in several other districts, but not apparently so numerously. The 
Census of 1865 gives no account of any existing in Ghazipftr, yet Sir Henry 
Elliot says that they are there in large numbers ; and his statement is corrobor- 
ated by Dr. W. Oldham, in his Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipilr district. 

It is traditionally stated that the tribe sprang from Siringi Rikh, who mar- 
ried the daughter of Raja AjaipSl, of Kanouj ; and that their principal seat, 
during a long period, was Argal, a village on the Rhind river, in the Kora par- 
gannah, in the district of FathpAr. They seem to have been a people of influ- 
ence and power throughout that tract of country. Their descendants, however, 
have not been able to maintain the ancient prestige and distinction of the race. 
There is still a Gautam Raja, who preserves the memory of the noble deeds and 
glory of his ancestors. The fort of Kora was originally built by one of them, 
named Bijai Singh, who, in the time of the emperor Humayun, abandoned Hindu- 
ism and became a Mahomedan. The Gautam Rajpoots now living in Kora, it 
is generally known, were converted to Islamism about that period. They now 
bear the title of ' Khftn,' which is borne likewise by other families of this tribe 
attached to the Mahomedan faith in the pargannahs of Tuppehjar and 
KAtiagAnar (a). 

(a) Report of the Ceufias of 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., p. 103. 


There are other Gautam Rajpoots in the sub-division of Ealijftnpdr, in the 
same district, who, it is believed, came from the same stock, and, like those in 
Kora, have mostly become Mahomedans. They still practise, however, various 
rites like the Hindus. " Bary&r, or Baray, Gautam having become a Mussal- 
man, was known afterwards as Bah&dur Kh^n ; and receiving a jaghir from the 
emperor Akbar, built the village of Khunta, on the'Rhind, and the fort 
known as Garht Jar, which, although ruined, still exists, and is held by his 
descendants, Abdul RahmS^n Kh&n, and others. Garhl Jar is in Pargannah 
Tuppeh-Jar, one of the three composing the KaliyS^npiir (formerly Bindkl) 
Tahsilddrt (revenue district)" (a). 

The tribe is very numerous* in the district of Mirzapdr. The branches 
found in Azimgarh are said to be of the family of Baja Chandar Sen, of Argal, 
who, arriving in that country with an armed force, settled down in the village 
of Mahnagar, where he erected a fort and established a bazar, which are still 
existing. His son, Abhman Rai, having quarrelled with his father, paid a 
visit to Delhi, where he became a Mahomedan. He received certain titles 
of rank from the emperor, and was succeeded at his death by his nephew, 
who likewise abandoned Hinduism for the Moslem faith. The present Raja of 
Azimgarh, a Mahomedan, is descended from this stock (6). A somewhat different 
account is given by Mr. Thomason, formerly Collector of Azimgarh, and 
afterwards Lieutenant-Governor of the North- Western Provinces. " The Gau- 
tam Rajpoots," he states, came from the Do&b under two leaders. Gen Rai, and 
Men Rai. They established themselves in Tuppeh DaulatabS^d, and there found- 
ed two villages. Mahannagar was the residence of Men Rai, and Goura of 
Gen Rai. To one of these two stocks all the Gautams of that part of the 
country trace their origin" (c). 

The Gautams are very numerous in the pargannah of Aurangab&d Nagar 
in the Gorakhpftr district, and came originally from Chanda, where their Chief 
married the daughter of the Raja of Gonda, who gave her the Nagar estate as 
her dowry (rf). 

Respecting the Gautams of GhazipAr, Dr. Oldham, in his Statistical Memoirs 
of that district^ makes the following observations. " Proceeding north of the 
Ganges from Mahaitch, we find, in Pargannah Karrandah, a very numerous clan 

(a) Report of the CensuB of 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., p. 103. 

{h) Ihid, 112. 

(c) Mr. Thomason*8 Report of the Ceded Portion of the District of Azimgarh, p. 18. 

{d) Report of the Census of 1865, Vol. I, App. B., p. 110. 


of Gautam Sombans, or Lunar Rajpoots, who own the greater part of the pargan- 
nah. These Gautams trace their descent from the main branch of the clan, 
which has its head-quarters at Argal, in Pargannah Kora of the Fathpftr district. 
They appear to have settled in this district about four or five hundred years 
ago ; and are stated to have conquered and expelled the Seorees, under the 
leadership of Birnt and Ijri Eftnr, Gautam Chiefs. The Gautams in four villages 
became Mussalmans during the empire of the Moguls. The settlement of the 
head village of Pargannah Mainpih- was concluded with the head man ; not, as 
in other estates throughout the district, in the name of the entire proprietary 
body, but as sole owner. The result of this procedure has been a long-continued 
feud, and frequent litigation between him and the descendants of shareholders, 
now reduced to the position of cultivators (a). Other portions of this tribe 
are found in Saidp&r and Zam&niah, in the same district. 

It is undoubted that the general testimony, as already shown, is in favour 
of the Gautam tribe having had its origin at Argal in the Fathpiir district. 
" They are divided, says Sir H. Elliot, into the tribes (meaning titled clans of) 
Raja, Rao, R&na, and Rftwat. The representative of the Rajas lives at Argal ; 
of the Raos at Bir&hanpftr, in Bindki ; of the Ranas at Chillt, in pargannah 
Majhiwan, now included in Sarh Sallmpik ; and of the R&wats at Bhftiipdr, in 
Bindkt. Besides the possessions which they themselves retained, they are 
said — and here probability is in favour of the tradition — ^to have bestowed upon 
their allies several large tracts, which are to this day tenanted by the grantees. 
Thus the Chandels of Sivardjpiir in Cawnpiir are represented to have received 
from them sixty-two villages in that pargannah^ having been induced to leave 
their original seat of Mahoba, after the defeat of their chief Briiftaditiya by 
Pritht R&j. The Jaganbanst E^naujiya Brahmans of Kora are said to have 
received the Chandrahat of that pargannah from Birsingh Deo, a Gautam 
Chieftain. The Thatbarar Kanaujiya Brahmans are said to have been Bakhshts 
of the Argal family. The Athya Gautams, who are reckoned inferior to the 
general stock, and considered to have been originally Jinwar Rajpoots, are said 
to have received twenty-eight villages in Bindki from the Argal Raja, with 
whom they had contrived to ingratiate themselves by teaching him the game 
of chess. But the largest assignment of land which was attributed to their 
bounty, is that of Baisw&ra in Oudh" (6). 

(a) Dr. W. 01dham*s Statistical Memoirs of the Ghazipiir District, Fart I., p. 59. 
(6) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., pp. 116, 117. 


The conclusion which Sir H. Elliot draws is, that " the Gautam country 
must really have been an important tract, extending from Ealpi to the neigh- 
bourhood of Gorakhpiir, since we find a Gautam Raja still residing, as hiead of 
his tribe, in Nagar in that district; and that the Azimgarh family, now Mus- 
salmans, were, before their conversion, Rajpoots of the Gautam stock. We find 
it also stated in Buchanan (Eastern India, Vol. II., p. 458), that the Gautams 
of Gorakhpflr considered that their ancestors were once in possession of Bun- 
delkhand" (a). From all these statements it is plain that the Gautam Rajpoots 
held an extensive tract of land in the Lower DoS^b in former times. 

There is indeed some probability that these Gautams are of the same 
family as that of the S&kyas, from whom sprang the renowned Sd.kya 
Muni or Buddha. ^^ As the Bais (Rajpoots) are descendants of S&liv&hana, and 
a S&liv&hana was sovereign of Pratisth&na, the modern Jhftst, it gives at once 
an established antiquity to the Gautams, which makes it possible that we may 
have in them the descendants of the illustrious Sslkyas" (&). 

Respecting the later history of this tribe, we have this further information. 
" For some generations the Gautams of Argal seem by their own accounts to have 
continued in great prosperity, dating their decline from the period of Humayun's 
return to India, who avenged himself upon them for their zealous adherence to 
the cause of his victorious rival. Shir ShUh. Mussulman history, however, is 
silent on this subject, both of this warfare of extermination, and of the pre- 
sumed importance of Argal and the Gautams ; and it is therefore diflScult to say 
what portions of truth are mixed up with the fictions of these relations. 

" The Gautams of JaunpAr and the eastward give their daughters in 
marriage to Sombansl, Bachgotl, Bachalgoti or Bandhalgotl, BajwS^r, and Rky 
kdrnkr Rajpoots. Those of the Do&b give their daughters to other tribes, the 
Bhadauria, Kachhw&ha, R&thor, Gahlot, Chauh&n, and Tomar ; and they vary 
as much with respect to the tribes whose daughters they receive" (c). 

This tribe seems to have entered Oudh at a very early period, so early 
indeed that Mr. C. A. Elliott speaks of it as pre-historic. He says with justice 
that the history of the Bais Rajpoots shows that when they settled in that 
country the Gautams had large possessions. "They themselves claim," he 
states, " to have dowered the daughter of their house with one thousand four 
hundred and forty villages, when she wedded her Bais bridegroom and her 

(a) Elliot's SapplemeDtal Glossary, Vol. I.,'pp. 117, 118. 

(() Ibid, p. 118. 

(c) iftid, pp. 118,119. 



mother's preserver ; but this claim is probably exaggerated, and is not supported 
by the traditions of the Baises themselves " (a). The influence of the Oautams 
is not great in Oudh in the present day, as is suflSciently manifest from the cir- 
cumstance that only one talvqdar or Chief represents them at the Durbar of the 

The Gautam Rajpoots occupy thirty-seven villages to the south of the dis- 
trict of Sh&hjah&np6r. They have considerable possessions also in the Cawnpftr 
district. In the pargannah of Sarh SallmpAr alone, they had, a few years since, 
as many as thirty-nine villages. The Raja of Argal in pargannah Kora was 
the head of the clan. 

In many of the districts of these Provinces, the Gautams are among the 
most powerful and wealthy of the Rajpoot tribes. In Mirzapdr they number 
nearly twenty thousand persons. There are likewise many in the Benares dis- 
trict, where their influence is extensive. None of them, however, are large land- 
holders. A considerable proportion of them are traders and servants. In the 
latter district, the Gautams are sometimes confounded with the BhMnhS,r Brah- 
mans of the Gautam gotra^ who are generally designated by the natives by the 
simple term Gautam. 

The Gautam Rajpoots are of the Bhfi,raddwfij and Garg gotras or orders. 


This tribe is spread over a considerable tract of country extending from 
Oudh southwards to Bundelkhand, and eastwards to Ghazipftr. The account of 
the origin of the clan is thus given by Mr. Elliott. 

" The traditions of the clan relate that the Dikshits are descended from the 
Surajbans Rajas, who for fifty-one generations ruled over Ajudhiya. In the 
fifty-first generation from Ikswaku, Raja Durgban left Ajudhiya, and migrated 
to GujerUt, where his descendants took the title of Durgbansis, or children o 
Durg. In the twenty-fourth generation from him Kaliyfi,n S&h Durgbans went 
to pay homage to Raja Vikramajlt, the great Raja of Djain. From him (about 
50 B. C.) he received the title of Dikshit, which his descendants bore, instead 
of Durgbans. For many centuries they remained stationary in GujerSt; till, 
at the time when the Raj of Kanouj was at its zenith, Balbhadra Dikshit, the 
younger son of SamarpradhS^n, entered the service of the Rllthor Raja. From 
him he received as a gift the Samonl pargannah, which lies across the Jumna in 

(a) Mr. C. A. Elliott*8 Chronicles of Oonao, p. 21. 


the Banda district ; and he settled down in this estate with his family and his 
followers. But the Hindoo monarchies were already drawing to their close, and 
the grandson of. Balbhadra, Jaswant, saw the death of the Baja of Eanouj, 
and the destruction of the power and the family of his benefactor. Samont was 
too near Eanouj not to be affected by this great dynastic revolution ; and the 
Diksihit colony was disturbed and broken up by these disastrous events. Jaswant 
Singh had four sons. The eldest remained in Samont, and his descendants pos- 
sess tlie estate to this day. " The second, Udlbhan, migrated into Oudh, and 
colonized the district of Dikhthi^S.. " The third, Banw&rt, went still further 
north, crossing the Gogra and the Rapti, and choosing a safe retreat in the Sub- 
Himalayan forests, founded there the great Sirnet Raj of Bansl. " The fourth, 
KhairSj, migrated to the east, and settled down in the district of Part&bgarh, 
and took the town of Bilkhar, whence his descendants are called Bilkhariyas " (a). 
Udibhan held possession of fourteen pargannahs^ forming the country 
termed Dikhtbl&ni, which extended from the borders of Baiswira, on the east, 
to S&ndi P&lt, on the west, and from the Gdmtl to the Ganges. This tract was 
previously inhabited by the Lodhs, whose subjugation, in the absence of all 
tradition on the subject, seems to have been effected with ease. Udibhan be- 
came Raja, &nd the title was handed down through six generations. As a proof 
of the high position of this Rajpoot clan, it is sufficient to state, that other 
Rajpoot tribes of Oudh were in those days eager to form alliances with it. 
Unfortunately, the desire for separate ownership destroyed the unity of the clan 
and the integrity of the Dikhthl&n& territory, which were parcelled out into six 
divisions by the six sons of RS^na Singh, and appropriated by them severally. 
The names of these sons, and of their possessions, are as follows : — 

Sons of E&na Singh. 

Their possessions. 


Blr N&th 

... • • • 





• • • 

• • • 

• • • 




• • • 

> • • 

• • • 




• •• 

» • • 

• • • 




. .• t 

) • • 

• • • 




• • • • 

• • 

• • • 


The descendants of Pathimal, the second son, are the Parenda family, who 
are now the acknowledged head of the entire clan. 

(a J Mr. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao, pp. 34, 3^. 


On llie return of the emperor Humayun, the Dikshit tribe received a blow, 
from which it has never recovered Fathimal declined to acknowledge the 
emperor, and, supported by a large number of Rajpoots, opposed him with great 
pertinacity. In the end, a severe battle was fought, which resulted in the 
destruction of Fathimal and other chiefs, and of many Rajpoots of various 
clans. Dikhthi&n& being thereby left without a leader, the Chandel Raja of 
Surajpftr attempted to annex it to his estates. This was stoutly opposed, how* 
ever, by the remaining Dikshits, who elected a young son of one of the wives 
of Fathimal as their Raja. This child was called Nirbahan. He lived at Unao. 
His grandson, Blr Singh Deo, founded the village of Blrsinghpftr ; and his son 
Khlrat Singh removed thence, and built the fort of Parenda, which his descend- 
ant inhabits. Yet the tribe never recovered its prestige ; and, to make matters 
worse, the lands were divided into small portions, and given to one and another 
of the family* Weak, impoverished, and without honour and position, the 
fortunes of the house became at length wretched in the extreme, so that the 
Raja was unable to afford the expenses of receiving the tilak^ or mark of Raja- 
ship, applied to the forehead in the presence of Rajas and other men of rank — 
a ceremony always accompanied by the feasting of all present, together with 
liberal donations to Brahmans. The representative of the clan of late years 
has been Raja Daya Shankar, a man of great spirit and determination, who, in 
the maintenance of his imagined rights, on four separate occasions, has fought 
severe fights with ChakladUrs, persons superintending a large district of coun- 
try (a). 

In the Ghazipto district, nearly the whole of Fachotar is occupied by a 
branch of the Dikshit clan, called there Fachtoriya. They state that their 
ancestor was Manik Rao, who, about twenty generations back, migrated from 
Bulandshahr to this tract (b). 

The tribe is also found in the Fathpi!ir district, inhabiting the pargannahs 
of Katia, Fathptkr, Ekdalla, Mutaur, and Ghazipiir; and also in Bundel- 
khand and the Benares district. Those in Fathptkr are in part descended from 
Simaunl, who came from Banda, and settled at Kurra Kanak, on the Jumna, in 
the pargannah Mutaur. Some of the family have embraced the Mahomedan faith. 
One named B&m Singh went to Delhi, after his marriage with the daughter of 
Nandan Rai Gautam, where he also became a Mahomedan, and was then called 

(a ) Mr. EUiott^s Chronicles of Oonao, pp. 84—41. 

( h) Dr. W. Oldham^s Statistical Memoirs of the Ghazipur District, p. 58. 


Malikdftd Khftn. His posterity occupy the village of Lalaull, on the Jumna, 
which he founded, and, although professedly Mussalmans, practise a number of 
Hindu ceremonies (a) 

The Dikshits of Hamlrpftr came originally from Eoel or Aligarh. Their 
existence in the district, however, is not recognized by the last Census Report. 

There is a considerable colony of Dikshits in Azimgarh ; and a few in 
Jaunptir. There is also an insignificant community of Dikshit Zamindars in 
Benares. The tribe is of the Kftsyap gotra or order. 


A tribe of very small extent is called by this name, and is found in Benares, 
Azimgarh, and Ghaziptir. In Benares, it occupies no very honourable position, 
and is engaged in trade, and in other employments. 

The Pachtoriyas of Ghazipftr came thither from Bijaip(lr Bhalkhand, under 
their leader Talkasl Kai, and took possession of the tract now known as the 
Pachotar pargannah. They claim to be Dikshits, although bearing the name 
Pachtoriya. The other Bajpoots of the district recognize them, and intermarry 
with them. Some of the tribe apostatized to Mahomedanism in the time of 
Abdulla Khan, and their descendants are found scattered about the pargannah. 
They mingle with other Mahomedans ; and live according to their habits and 
manners (6). 

The tribe is of the Easyap gotra. 


This tribe is mostly found in the Gorakhptir district, where it is very 
numerous and influential. It is said to have come from Srinagar with the Raja 
of Satftst, and to have received grants of lands in the Bastt pargannah^ on 
which it settled. There is considerable doubt as to what Srinagar is intended, 
as there are several places of this name in India. Some hold that it is the 
Srinagar of Garhw&l, on the lower slope of the ^imalayas, though without 
sufficient reason. Others that it is the Srinagar of Bundelkhand. The family 
of the Raja of XJnaula, the most important chief of the clan, states, that 
they came originally from Assam (c). Raja Bhagwant Singh of Sat&sl had 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western FlroTinces, for 1865, Appendix B., pp. 104, 105. 

(5) i^p. 122. 

(c) Bachanan*8 Eastern India, YoL 11., p. 457. 

M— 1 


three sons, among whom he divided his property. Unaula and Bhowaparia fell 
to Jagdhir Singh, from whom the present Raja is descended. Several branches 
of the tribe trace their relationship to the Raja of Bansi. The Babus of 
Dadupftr are. descended from Rudra Singh, Raja of SatHsi. Other respectable 
families of this clan are found also in the Havelt Oorakhpilr and Silhet 

A few families of Sirnets have established themselves in the Azimgarh and 
Allahabad districts. It is the opinion of Mr. Elliott, that this clan is a branch 
of the Dikshit Rajpoots of DikhitiS,n& in Oudh. Dr. W. Oldham, however, con- 
siders that they belong to the Naikumbh tribe, which, in the Gorakhp&r district, 
receives the title of Sirnet. 

The Sirnets are found in small numbers in the Benares district, and are 
employed as cultivators. 


The Durgbansls, although of the same family originally as the Dikshits, 
yet in several parts of the country have a separate name, and are regarded as a 
distinct tribe. They occupy lands in Garw&ra, Ghisera, and RS^rl, in the 
Jaunpflr district, and also in M^hnl of Azimgarh. They intermarry with some 
of the highest tribes of Rajpoots* The Raja of Garw&ra belongs to the Durg^ 
bansi tribe {a). 


This tribe sprang from the province of Oudh. It is numerous in the 
district of Jaunpftr, where it possesses several thousand families. Colonies also 
are in the neighboAring district of Azimgarh. In Mirzap&r are a few hundred 
individuals; and in Benares likewise is a smiall community. In Oudh the 
Dhrigubansis have one chief, whom they are permitted to send as their repre* 
sentative to the Governor General's Durbar. 


This tribe is scattered over a considerable portion of the North- Western 
Provinces, from Farakhabftd, in the west, to Azimgarh and GhazipAr, in the 
east. In the district of Azimgarh alone there are thirty thousand, while in the 

(a) Supplemental Glossary, Vol I., p. 87* 


JSdirzapftr district there are upwards of forty thousand. Their common gotra 
is Easyap. 

The Raghubansis hold three villages in the neighbourhood of Ghiror, in 
the Mainpflrl district. They came, they say, from Ajudhiya, in the time of Raja 
Jai Cband of Eano4]j. Those in the ^idih^iir pargannah^ of theEtah district, 
state, that their ancestors proceeded from the same place. It is believed that 
Raja Raghu, of the Solar Race, made Ajudhiya his seat of Government. 
Hence, all his descendants are called Raghubansis. They are numerous in 
some parts of Ghazipftr, particularly Saidpftr and Cawnp6r ; in the Dftbl par- 
gannahy of Jaunpftr ; and in the pargannahs of Eateh&r, BS^rah, and Mah6&ri, 
of Benares. In the days of Domon Deo, a powerful Raja of Chandraull, in 
the reign of the emperor Shir Shfth, *the Raghubansis of Katehftr, (in the 
Benares district), crossing the Gumtl, took possession of ten villages, which 
they still hold ' {a). 

A tradition exists at R&mbhlrpftr, in Oudh, that the Raghubansis of that 
neighbourhood were all slain together with their Raja by the troops of Shah&b- 
ud-din Ghorl. Mr. C. A. Elliott, who mentions the tradition, considers that it is 
without foundation, as he cannot conceive it possible that a race could be almost 
completely exterminated, seeing that only one family of the entire clan now 
exists there. It is hardly necessary to suppose that an utter destruction of the 
tribe was effected. It may have been so thoroughly subdued that the survivors 
emigrated in a body to other regions (ft). 

The Raghubansis occupy a considerable number of villages in the district 
of FathpAr. They are said to have come from the other side of the Jumna ; 
but they have been in the district for several hundred years. A few also are 
met with in the Agra district. 

This tribe is numerous in Benares, yet less so than the Bais Rajpoots. 
They have come hither from Ajudhiya. Many of them are employed in the 
cultivation of the ground. Some are landholders, occupying a position of high 
respectability. At their head is L&l Bahddur Singh, who is in the possession of 
large estates. They form an important colony at Chandrauli, a few miles from 
Benares, in the direction of GhazipAr, whence they extend to the Ddbi par- 
gannah of Jaunpftr. 

^ (a) Dr. W. 01dham*8 Statistical Memoir of the QhazipClr District, Fart I., p. 65. 
(b) Chronicles of Oonao, p. 22. 



A small tribe from Satftst, in the Gorakhptir district, which, in former times, 
migrated to the tract now comprised in the Azimgarh district, where it assisted 
other Rajpoot tribes in the subjugation and expulsion of the aboriginal races, 
and participated with them in the estates which they seized. 


In the Jaunpftr district this tribe is exceedingly numerous. According to 
the last Census its numbers fell little short of ten thousand. The tribe seems 
to be confined to this tract. 


A small tribe of Rajpoots in the Benares district engaged in the cultiva- 
tion of the ground. It belongs to the Bh&raddw&j goira or order. 

Bhathariya or Batauriya. 

An inconsiderable community of Rajpoots in the Jaunpt^ district, num« 
bering, at the last Census of 1865,* about two or three hundred families. It 
seems to be of local origin. 




Hayohans^ Haiya^ Haihaya^ or Harihohans. 

This was once an important tribe of Rajpoots, and occupied a very exten* 
sive territory on the banks of the Nirbuddha in Central India, where under 
their leader, the famous Sahasra Aijuna, they founded the city of Maheswarl, 
the original capital of the Sombansis, or Rajpoots of the Lunar Race. A dynasty 
of Hayobans kings, says Mr. R. Egerton, in a recent paper, occupied Ratan* 
pftr, in Central India, where they continued for fifty-two generations. The last 
representative of the family was Raja Raghun&th Singh, who died only one hun^ 
dred and ten years ago (a). A few of the tribe are found at Soh&gptkr ; but it 
seems to have lost entirely its ancient rank and splendour, and, like many other 
Indian races, to have been well nigh obliterated. This people were powerful 
and warlike in former times, and were sufficiently strong to cope with aboriginal 
races. To them is attributed the expulsion of the Chertks, a numerous and ener- 
getic tribe of aborigines, from the country on the southern bank of the Ganges. 

In the district of Ghazipftr, however, the Hayobansls hold the highest rank 
among Rajpoots of the neighbourhood. They claim to be descended from the 
kings of Ratanp^. Dr. W. Oldham gives the following account of the tribe, 
taken from what he terms an ^ historical pedigree,' in the possession of the family, 
and from other sources. 

^^ Chandra Got, a cadet of the Ratanptlr house, in the year 906 Sambat, or 
850 A. D., migrated northwards, settled at Manjha on the Ghogra, now included 
in the Sftran district, and waged successful war with the aboriginal Cherfts. 

(a) Dr. W. 01dham*8 Statistical Memoixa of Ghaziptbr, p. 65 ; Elliotts Supplemental Gloasaiy, Vol. I., 
p. 128. 


After a couple of hundred years, his descendants left Manjha, and settled south of 
the Ganges, at Bahta, where they remained five centuries, and subdued the Cherfts. 
In or about the year 1584 Sambat, or 1528 A. D., the Raja Bhopat Deo (or per- 
haps one of his sons) violated Mahem, a Brahman woman of the house of the 
parohit^ or family priest, of the Hayobans clan. She burned herself to death ; and 
in dying imprecated the most fearful curses on the Hayobans race. After this tra- 
gedy, the clan left Bahla, and passed beyond the Ganges to the Balliah pargannah^ 
where they for a while were located at Gae Gh&t, and finally settled at Haldl, from 
which place the Hayobans Raja now takes his title. The tomb of Mahenl, 
under a peepul tree, close to the railway at Bahta, is still visited by women of 
every caste, who come in numbers either to invoke her as a deified being, or 
to ofier oblations in commemoration of her. There are still a few Hayobans 
residing in the neighbourhood; but nothing will induce them to enter the village 
of Bahia, once the chief seat of the clan, and in which the remains of their 
ancestors' fort are still to be seen" {a). 

The Rajas of Haldl, it appears, were, for a time, lords of the Balliah par- 
bannah^ and most probably paid revenue for the whole of it to the Mogul em- 
perors. Balwant Singh, Raja of Benares, dispossessed them of their rights in 
the pargannah. Some years afterwards, when the country had come into the 
hands of the British Government, Mr. Fowke, the Agent for the Governor-General 
in Benares, conferred upon Bhtkabal Deo, Raja of Haldl, a perpetual grant 
of sixteen thousand rupees per annum, in recognition of his ancestral 
right over the BsAliBh pargannah. Afterwards, as a further confirmation of 
this right, when the permanent settlement of the lands in this part of the country 
was made by Mr. Duncan, Resident of Benares, five estates of sixteen thousand 
acres in extent, were settled with the Raja at a revenue of upwards of tWenty- 
four thousand rupees. The annual allowance or pension was continued during 
the life-time of the Raja, and also of his son Ishart Bakhsh ; but it was diminish- 
ed to the third Raja, Dalganjan Singh, in 1806; and was altogether discontinued 
on the accession of Eaja Harak Nglth Deo, in 1825, arid has never been renew- 
ed, notwithstanding urgent and repeated applications to the Government for its 

The present Raja, a boy of eleven years of age, says Dr. W. Oldham, is 
"" miserably poor, as all the estates of the family were sold by his ancestors to 
the Raja of Domraon. A couple of small villages confen-ed on him by Govern- 
ment, for good conduct during the i^sturbances of 1857 and 1858, and five hundred 
I ...... _ 

(a) Dr. W. 01dham*B Statistical Memoirs of Ghazipiir, p. 55, 


beegahs of land allowed to bim by the Domradn Eaja, at a moderal^ reiit, is all that 
remains to snpport the dignity of a family once illustrious and powerful, and 
still, in their fallen s^tate, ranking higher in popular estimation than evien the 
house of the Raja of Domraon, who is the possessor of immense estates, and 
can boast a pedigree of eighty-six generations from the greatest of Indian 
kings "(a). 

Several Hayobans families inhabit villages in various parts of the Balliah 
pargannah^ of complexion so dark, and features so non- Aryan, that Dr. Old* 
ham is somewhat inclined to agree with Mr. P. Camegy, that the Hayobans 
tribe is really an aboriginal Tamil race. This too is the opinion of Mr. Hodgson, 
a high authority on the aboriginal tribes of India. Mr. P. Carnegy gives the 
statement of General Sleeman, that the ancient Hayobans sovereigns of Ratan- 
p(ir and Lahanjl were subdued by Gond Rajas. 

Bachal or Bachalgoti. 

This tribe has been established in the district of Sh&hjahSnpAr from ancient 
times. They formerly were in possession of the eastern portion of Rohilkhand, 
but were driven out by the Mahomedans, and their lands given to the Kathariya 
Rajpoots. They are said to have come originally from the neighbourhood of 
Farakhab&d, about the year 1000 A. D., under the leadership of a chief named 
D&ran P&d. They proceeded in a northerly direction. One of their celebrated 
}nQn was Raja Ben, who founded M4ti. The famous Raja Deo belongs to this 
clan, who had twelve sons, the descendants of whom are found scattered over a 
considerable ei^tent of country. In the middle of the sixteenth century, ^ Cihabi 
Singh, one of the tribe, obtained, partly by a grant of the emperor, and partly 
by violence, a territory extending over parts of the K&nt, Powayan, Tilhar, and 
SbfiiijahS^npftr pargannahs ; and, at a later date, one of his descendants obtained 
possession of Samarlya, which, along with seventy other villages in these parts, is 
still in the possession of this tribe. One Raja Tilak Chand Bachal is said to 
haye occupied Tilhar, and to have settled his tribe in Patah Chircola, now called 
JalSlpiir, driving out the Gftjars and Banj&ras' {b). 

This tribe, according to Sir H. Elliot, is of the Lunar Race of Rajpoots, 
^ We find them,' he says, ^ in Jal&U of Aligarh ; Eot S&Mhan, Ujh&ni, and 

(a) Dr. W. 01dham*s Statistical Memoirs of Ghazipibr, pp. 55, 6. 

(h) Census of the North- Western Froyinces for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B„ p . 58. 


Nidhpiir, of Budaon ; Sah&r and Artng of Mathora; and in Tilhar and Sh&hje* 
Mnpiir.' Moreover, he states, that the landholders of Farlda and of Kftnt GK>la, 
the old name of Sh&hjeh&npiir, as recorded in the Aln-i Akbarl, were of the 
Bachal tribe (a). The Bachals appear to be the earliest recorded occupants of 
the entire tract lying to the north of this district 

The Bachals are met with also in the Khandauli and Ferozabftd pargannahs^ 
to the north of the Agra district They are, however, few in number, and of 
recent date. A small community also is found in the Benares district 

This clan is divided into two branches, of which the elder is found at Amber 
or old Jaipfln The younger branch is traditionally stated to have migrated 
from this country and to have entered the pargannah of Bhadohl, in the Mirza* 
pf^r district, at a time when an aboriginal race of Bhars held possession of that 
territory. Accounts differ as to the origin of their dispute with the Bhars ; but 
they agree in this, that Rajpoots of the Mon race, while pursuing their pilgri* 
mage to the sacred city of Benares, were attracted by the Bhar fields, through 
which they passed, and decided on settling upon them. The number of the 
immigrants was at first small ; but it was increased by accessions from the original 
stock in Jaipur. When they became strong enough, a desperate effort was 
made by the clan to expel the Bhars, which ended in the complete destruction 
of the latter. The pargannah fell into the hands of the conquerors, and remained 
in their possession for many generations. 

In an elaborate account of the Bhadoht pargannah^ Mr. Duthoit, Deputy 
Superintendent of the Family Domains of the Maharaja of Benares, has given 
some interesting particulars respecting the history of the younger branch of this 
clan. " The Monas have a pedigree," he says, " which goes back for thirty-two 
generations ; but much dependance cannot be placed on it In this country 
about five generations go to a century ; so that the pedigree would place the 
family in the pargannah almost from the date of the Mahomedan conquest. For 
twenty-six generations the names of father and son succeed one another without 
any further detail. S&gar Rai is the first head of the family of whom anything 
authentic would seem to be known. He had three sons, Harbans Rai, R&m 
Chandra, and Jagdls Rai. The share of Jagdls Rai long remained distinct : tjiie 

(a) EUiof 8 Supplemental GloBsarj, Vol. I., pp. 8, 9. 


rest of the pargannah seems to have fallen to Rfim Chandra. R&m Chandra 
was succeeded by his son, Blrbhadra Singh. Blrbhadra had five sons. ; but two 
only, Jodh Rai and Madan Singh, need be mentioned. Jodh Rai obtained a 
Zemindari sanad (or land-grant), for the whole of the pargannah^ from the 
emperor Shfi,h Jah&n ; but was killed by the Subahdar of Allahabad not long 
afterwards. Upon this, the emperor is said to have given a fresh sannd to Jodh 
Rai's widow ; and she, it is asserted, delegated the management of the Zemin- 
dari (or estate) to Madan Singh" {a). 

This Madan Singh is regarded as the second founder of the family. He 
was evidently a crafty man, and not so honest as he might have been. He 
managed to gain possession of nearly the whole of the pargannah^ and was very 
powerful and prosperous. In the early part of the last century feuds broke out 
among his descendants ; and the Raja of Part&bgarh in Oudh, Pirthlpat Singh, 
was invited to render assistance. The Raja embraced the opportunity of gaining 
the control of the pargannah^ and after a time made it over, certain portions 
excepted, to Balwant Singh, Raja of Benares. By the year 1776 only one estate 
remained with the Monas Rajpoots ; all the rest of the pargannah having by that 
time been absorbed by the Benares family. 

The Monas Rajpoots still reside, for the most part, in the Bhadohi par- 
gannah of MirzapAr. Some families, however, have settled in the Allahabad and 
Jaunpiir districts, and a very small number in the GorakhpOr and Benares dis- 
tricts. In the last mentioned district they are chiefly husbandmen. The tribe 
is of the Maunt gotra, or order, a name peculiar to themselves. 


This tribe is scattered over most of the districts among the eastern tracts of 
the North Western Provinces, but is not found west of Cawnpftr. In some places 
it is met with in considerable numbers, as in the districts of Allahabad, Gorakh- 
pftr, Azimgarh, and Jaunpftr. In Oudh, they are said to occupy three hundred 
and sixty villages. 

Mr. C. A. Elliott aflSrms that they came originally from Sallmpftr Majhoull, 
in Gorakhpftr. The Raja of this place is, says Sir Henry Elliot, the acknow- 
ledged chief of the Bisen stock. " The founder of the political influence of the 
family was Mewar Bhat, whose ancestors had for many generations resided as 
devotees in the neighbourhood of NawftpAr, now known as Sallmpftr Majhaull. 

(a) Report of the Biiailobi PargiiDnab bj Mr. W. DuUioit, b.c.s., pp. 8, 9. 

K— 1 


Mewat Bhat, though himself a religious man, was not able to withstand the soli- 
citations of ambition ; and, taking up arms, after returning from a pilgrimage to 
Benares, acquired possession of the greater part of the country between the 
Ganges and the great Gandak. Mewat had four wives. By one, a Bdjputnt, he 
had issue, Bisu Sen, the founder of the name of Bisen, and the ancestor of the 
Baja's family. By a BhMnhfi.r, he had Bagmar Saht, the ancestor of the Kawart 
and Tamakhoi Rajas. By a Brahmini, he had Nages, whose descendante hold 
a few villages in Sallmpi^r Majhault. By a Eurmt, he had the ancestor of those 
now resident in Ghost of Azimgarh. The present incumbent of the Baj is said 
to be in the hundred and fifteenth generation from Mewar Bhat " (a). 

From Gorakhpiir the Bisens stretched out westward to Manikpftr, and from 
the colony located there sprang the Unao branch, which retains, in that district, 
a number of villages, in spite of all the efforts of the Mahomedans to diBpossess 
them. An ancient Bisen Raja, by name Unwant, gave his name to Unao, but at 
what era, is not known (b). From the testimony of a grant inscribed on a 
copper-plate found in the Fyzabad district, in which a Eanouj Baja bestows the 
present of a village in Oudh, it would seem that Oudh was once a part of the 
Kanouj dominions. Moreover, there is a tradition that the Bisen Raja of Unao 
rendered military service to Jai Chand in resisting Mahomed Ghori (c). In the 
Kopd^^hit pargannah of Ghazipt[ir, there are a few families of this clan, having 
possession of some ten or twelve villages to the north of the pargannah. 

The Bisen Rajpoots of GorakhpAr, where they are a very influential people, 
claim descent, says Buchanan, from Bhrigu, a Brahman Rishi of the Yedic or 
pre-Vedic period ; but this is mere wild imagination (d). The Raja of Maj- 
hault, who, as already stated, is at the head of the Bisen Rajpoots, is descended, 
according to local tradition, from Cheit Mai. This surname is still retained by 
the head of the clan. 

The clan has estates in the district of Fathpftr. It is numerous in the 
Haswa pargannah. 

The Bisens of Oudh number thirteen chiefs, and are found chiefly in 
Partabgarh, Bahraich, Gondi, DariabS^d, and Sult&np6r. " The local heads of 
the family,'' remarks Mr. P. Carnegy, " are Raja Hanwant Singh of KSJ&- 
kankar — as fine a specimen of the oriental yeoman as is to be found anywhere, 

(a) Elliotts Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 42. 

(b) Mr. C. A. £lliott*s ChronicIeB of Oonao, p. 22. 

(c) Ibid. 

(d) Buchanan^s Eaateni India, Vol II., p. 469. 


and one who will ever be respected by our countrymen for the asylum he offered 
to the officers of this district, in the rebellion-— and also the Rajas of Mank&piir 
and Bhing& " (a). 

A few Bisen families are found in Benares, both in the city and district. 
They are mostly engaged in trade, or in the cultivation of the ground ; and have 
no Rajas or Chiefs to give them social distinction. They belong to the S&ndil 
and Far&sar gotras or orders. 


This clan exists in considerable numbers in the Hardui and Sitapftr dis- 
tricts of Oudh. Formerly, its chief seat was at B&mkot (the Fort of Mm). 
" Little is known of the early history of this town ; but its ruins, which He 
in the west corner of the district overlooking the river Sai, still testify to its 
grandeur and extent. Some of the mounds which mark the site of the ancient 
buildings are still one hundred feet in height ; and the ruins extend over a cir- 
cumference of several miles. This was the seat of the Rfijpusl power, which 
extended far to the west and north of R&mkot. The last of the lords of R&m- 
kot, Raja Santhar by name, threw off his allegiance to Eanouj, and refused to 
pay the annual tribute. On this, Raja Jai Chand gave to A\k and Udal the 
grant of all the G^njar country; and they attacked and destroyed RS^mkot, 
leaving it the shapeless mass of ruins we now find it. The streams, which run 
between liie various mounds, cut away the debris^ and lay bare at times the 
massive walls made of enormous bricks, uncemented ; or sometimes turn up relied 
of the past, caskets fiill of dust, which once was embroidered apparel, but 
which crumbles to the touch, — or gold coins and jewels with quaint and uncouth 
legends. But to those that find them, such treasures ever are as iaity gifts, bring- 
ing misfortune and misery into the family, and dragging the possessors down 
to irretrievable poverty " (b). 

It would be interesting to excavate some of these mounds ^ one hundred 
feet in height,' in which ancient buildings lie entombed; and doubtless, the 
result would be of value to the archeology, as well as to the history, of India. 

This clan is scattered about various districts of these provinces, especially 
on their eastern borders. It has branches in FarakhS.b&d, Cawnpftr, Allahabad, 

(a) Mr. P. Garneg7*8 Races of Oadh, p. 49. 

\iy 'Mr. 0. A. i3IIiott'B GhronieleB of OonaO, p. M. . ^ . 


Benares, Gorakhpdr, Azimgarh, Jaunptkr, and also in Oudh. Tet the tribe seems 
to be of small dimensions in comparison with many others. 

The Raikw^rs have a dozen villages in the pargannah of Bangarmau, of 
the district of Unao in Oudh ; and are called by the name of Shd^dtpftr Gauria. 
" They claim kindred," says Mr. C. A. Elliott, *' with the RaikwAr Rajas of 
Bond! and R&mnagar, intheBaraich and Dariabftd districts; and assert that, at the 
same time that those larger colonies were founded, their ancestors settled down 
in the twelve villages they now hold. The Bondl Raja's ancestor immigrated to 
Oudhr from the hill-country about Cashmere eighteen generations, or four hun- 
dered and fifty years, ago, that is, about 1400 A. D. The connection of these 
Raikwfirs with the great Rajas on the banks of the Gogra had been entirely 
broken off; but when they began to rise in political importance they sought to 
renew it. About sixty years ago, Mittft Singh and Bakht Singh, two of the lead- 
ing zemindars^ went to RUmnagar, and claimed brotherhood with the Raja. He 
heard their story, entertained them with hospitality, and sent them out food, 
and, among other things, tooth-brushes made of wood of the nim tree. All 
other Rajpoots place a special value on this wood ; but the Raikw&rs alone are 
forbidden to use it, and the rejection of these tooth-brushes proved to the Raja 
that his visitors were truly of his own kin" (a). Mr. Elliott adds to this inter- 
esting narrative a brief account of the Raikw&rs of Sh^dlpftr Gauria, in regard 
to the turbulent and disloyal spirit they have manifested. 

The RaikwSrs of Dariab^d in Oudh are in possession of thirty-one villages. 
Their chief is the Raja of RSmnagar. They possess great influence in the 
Amsin pargannah of the Fyzabad district. They are said to have come from 
K&mnagar-Dhimari, in the Barabanki district, some three hundred years ago. 
The tribe in Oudh has five representative chiefs at the Governor General's Dur- 
bar. There are only a few members of the tribe in the Benares district; but 
they number several hundred families in the districts of Azimgarh and Gt)rakh- 
pflr. The Raikw&rs are of the Easyap gotra. 


An inconsiderable tribe of Rajpoots inhabiting the district of Azimgarh, 
where they are supposed to number upwards of a thousand persons (i). They 
are said to have come originally from Tuar Kasar. 


(a) Mr. C. A. Elliott*8 Chronicles of Oonao, pp. 44, 45« 

(() Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, YoL IL, p« 15, 



A race of Rajpoots in the GorakhpAr district, numbering a few hundred 
individuals. About one hundred families have also settled in Aadmgarh. 


A Rajpoot tribe rather numerous in the Azimgarh district. I am not aware 
that it is found in other places. 

Patsariya. ' 

An insignificant community of Rajpoots found in the Jaunpftr district, and 
apparently of local origin, numbering a few hundred families. 



Yadu or Jadubanst. 

This tribe is especially illustrious as the representative of Buddha, the 
founder of the Buddhist religion, whose direct descendants are always regarded 
as Yadus. The original name has become strangely corrupted, and the race is 
now seldom designated as Yadu or Yaduvansa, but commonly by the term J§,du, 
or JS^dun, or J&dubansi. 

The Yadus inhabited, says Colonel Tod, a tract of country beyond the 
North- Western frontier even as far as Samarkhand, at a remote period of Hindu 
history. It is not known when they re-crossed the Indus and returned to India. 
Having obtained possession of the Panjab, they were unable to retain their hold 
upon it ; and, after a time, passing over the Satlaj and Oara, entered the Indian 
desert, where expelling various tribes, such as the Langahas, the Johyas, and the 
Mohilas, they founded Tannot, Darrawal, and Jessalmer, in the year 1157, A. D. 
The last city is the present capital of the Bhattis, one of the branches of the 
Jadubansi race. 

This tribe has eight divisions, or branches, as follows : 

1. Yadu — The head of this branch is the prince of the small state of Earauli. 

2. Bhatti — Represented by the head of the Jessalmer state. 
8. Jhareja — Bepresented by the Baja of Cutch. 

4. Samaicha — Represented by Mahomedan nobles in Scinde. 

5. Madaicha. 
60 Bidman. 

7. Buddha. 

8. Soha. 



Next to the Bhattis the Jharejas are now the most important clan of this 
tribe. They are supposed to have settled in the valley of the Indus on the frontier 
of Seist&n, The modem Jharejas have largely intermingled with the Mahomedans 
of Scinde. Colonel Tod, to whom I am indebted for this information respect- 
ing the Yadus, has given a further account concerning this tribe (a). 

The JS^dus are very numerous in the two districts of Mathuri; and Agra, 
where it embraces a population of upwards of thirty thousand persons. In Agra, 
the chief settlement is in the Ferozab&d pargannah^ especially round Kotlah, 
where the tribe is very influential. They are said to have been established in 
that region for several hundred years. The JS^duns of the western part of the 
district are an inferior branch of the stock. Those inhabiting the MathurS. 
district allow second marriages, and are consequently despised and shunned by 
the J&duns of Karauli and other places (6). 

The Jaduns of Jewar have the title of Chaukarzada ; but thq term B&grt 
is applied to the inferior members of the tribe by way of reproach  The family 
of Awa Mlsa, in the Mathur& district, has gained for itself a high position, and 
the Taluqdar, or head man, says Elliot, now lays claim to a direct descent from 
Anand Pal, the son of the Kirauli Raja, Kum^r FS.I; and asserts that the 
Bareshwart, Jaisw&r, and other self-styled J&duns, are altogether of an inferior 
stock. J&duns are also found, he adds, in Hoshangabd^d, whither they emigrated 
after Akbar^s conquests on the Nirbuddha (c). A few families of this tribe are 
likewise met with in Mor&dab&d, Etawah, Cawnpflr, Azimgarh, and Benares. 


A tribe of Bajpoots inhabiting the country district's, a few miles from 
Benares. They are found in the direction pf MarlS^hft, a thriving town on the 
borders of Oudh. 

This tribe is not confined to Benares, but is scattered over a considerable 
extent of country, and has its colonies in various places between Benares and 
Cawnpftr, to the west, and as far south as Banda. Its numbers appear to be 
greatest in the district of MirzapAr, wherte it has a community of severaj 
thousand persons. 

Wilson regards this tribe as connected with the Yadubansl Rajpopts j aiid 
states that it is chiefly settled in Oudh, but is likewise found as Air as 

(a) Tod's Rajasthan, Vol. I., pp. 85—87. 

{b) Census Report of the North-Westeni Proyineea, for 1865, Yoi. L, .pp« 64, 65. 

{c) Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 129. 


Bundelkhand (a). Mr. P. Carnegy, in his list of the Hajpoot Races of Oudh, 
makes no mention of the Banftphar tribe. 

The famous warriors, Aid. and Udal, whose names are household words 
throughout a large portion of the North Western Provinces, and whose achieve- 
ments are sung by Nats and bards in all directions, were of this tribe. 

The clan is scattered about the southern parts of Oudh in considerable 
numbers. " There are some also," says Sir H. Elliot, "in Earra of Allahabad; 
in Narwan, Havelt, and Katehar of Benares; in Garra Mandla; and in Bundel- 
khand. Their original seat is Mahoba" (b). 

The Ban&phars are of the Easyap gotra or order. 



The Bhrigubansls, says Wilson, derive their origin from Parasrftma. A 
few members of the tribe are found in the Benares district, and a few others in 
the neighbouring district of Azimgarh. 

The tribe belongs to the S& varan gotra or order. 


A numerous community of Rajpoots in Semrlpu&ii and other parts of the 
district of Benares, where as landholders they occupy an influential position. 
Colonies also are found in the Azimgarh and Mirzapiir districts. The tribe is 
of the Easyap gotra. 

Baharwaliya or Barhauliya. 

This small Rajpoot tribe is found in Benares. They are of inferior 
position socially, and are engaged in the pursuit of trade, or in the service of 
merchants and others. They are of the SS varan gotra or order. 

This tribe is, I suppose, the same as that called Barhauliya of the Bhrigu- 
bansi stock, and chief proprietors of Barhaul in Benares. They are said to 
have come originally, says Sir H. Elliot, from Raingarh in Marw&r, and instead 
of pursuing their journey to Jagannftth, as they had intended, to have staid with 
the aboriginal chief either of the Seori or CherA tribe, who presented Narotam 
Rai, their leader, with several villages, as a reward for certain medical services 
which he had rendered. 

(a) Wilson's Glossary, p. 57. 

(h) Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, p. 5\. 


The usual consequence of Rajpoot intimacy with the aborigines ensued, 
for, on the death of the Raja, Narotam Rai took possession of his estates, and 
governed them in behalf of his own people (a.) 


This tribe must not be confounded with the great Siirajbansi family, or 
Solar Race. It is simply a distinct tribe separate from the rest. Its origin, like 
that of the subordinate Chandrabansl and Sombansl tribes, is mysterious. Mani- 
festly, it is connected with the SArajbanst stock, and probably contains many of 
the degraded members of its numerous branches who, suppressing their indivi- 
duality and professing only their relationship to the Sftrajbansl family, have gra- 
dually formed themselves into a new and separate Rajpoot tribe. 

Members of the tribe are found in Benares, and in many other places in these 
Provinces. Several thousands are located in Gorakhpftr and Fathp6r. In some 
districts, such as Jaunp6r, Azimgarh, and Allahabad, it numbers only a few 
families. Altogether, it is not a numerous tribe. The Sftrajbansls are of the 
SS. varan gotra or order. An influential community of this tribe is settled in 
Oudh, and has the privilege of sending three representative taluqdars, or large 
landholders, to the Viceroy's Durbar. 


Properly the Lunar Race, from " Chandra," the Moon, and ' bans," race, yet 
in reality, as here used, meaning a separate and subordinate tribe of Rajpoots 
sprung originally from the great Chandrabansl family. 

The tribe is somewhat largely represented in Dehra Dftn, where it numbers 
about thirty thousand individuals. It is in considerable force also in the dis- 
trict of FathpAr. Benares, Allahabad, and other districts, likewise, have small 
communities of this tribe. They are of the S&nkrat gotra or order. 


The Sombansl Rajpoots properly comprise the whole of the Lunar Race. 
From some unexplained cause, however, instead of being a generic term denot- 
ing a number of tribes, it has come to represent only one tribe. Moreover, it is 
a singular phenomenon that there is a special Sonbansl tribe and also a special 

(a) Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I«, p. 57. 



Cfaandrabanst tribe, although Som and Chandra have precisely the same meaning, 
that is, the ^Moon.' There must be some great anomaly in such tribes. 

The Sombansis are not numerous, nor are they found in many places. 
There are about two thousand Sombansis in the Cawnpiir district, and the same 
in Jaunpftr. In the Azimgarh district also there are upwards of a hundred 
families. A small number reside in Benares. Some are traders ; others are 

The Sombansis of Saidpi!ir, in the Ghazipftr district, occupy four villages, 
named Kutgurra, Jiwar, Tftma, and Jfinl Chak. They came originally from 
Part&bgurh in Oudh, under Eaja Jotik Deo and Motik Deo. The tribe once 
held possession of the Masaun Fort, which, judging from the extensive artificial 
mound on which it stood, must have been of considerable dimensions. 

This tribe has colonies at SS^ndip^li, in Gorakhpftr, and also in Banauda, in 
the province of Oudh. The Sombansis of Oudh are of sufficient importance 
to send two representative chiefs to the Governor General's Durbar. The 
Sombansis, according to one authority which I have consulted,* are of the S&nk- 
rat gotra^ and according to another, of the Byfig gotra. As both are good 
native authorities in Benares, I am unable to decide which is the correct 


These Eajpoots are traditionally descended from the Serpent Race of early 
Hindu history. At the head of the race stands the famous Raja Takshak, who 
probably was a real personage. In the period preceding that when Buddhism 
became the dominant faith in India, and coeval with the period when Greece 
extended her dominions to the banks of the Indus, the Serpent Kings were 
possessed of great power in the country, and continued to hold their authority 
during several generations. Nfiga and Takshak have the same meaning in 
Sanskrit ; and in the early heroic period of Indian history both refer to the 
Serpent Race. It is not yet settled, and perhaps will never be, what relation 
subsisted between the Serpent Race and the aboriginal races of the country. 
It has been conjectured, that the Takshaks, or N&gbansis, are of Scythian origin, 
and invaded India under their leader Shesn&g about six or seven centuries 
before the Christian era. If this be so, then the Mgbansls of the present day, 
if they are true descendants of the Serpent Tribe, and there is no reason, so 
far as I know, to doubt it, are not properly a Hindu tribe at all ; and exhibit 
the anomaly of a strange and alien xace being incorporated in the great Hindu 


family, and, while retaining their distinctiveness and historical associations, 
being permitted to rank among the highest castes. The N&gbansis are regarded 
as genuine Rajpoots. 

Another interesting question connected with the Serpent Race in ancient 
Hindu annals is, to what extent the snake worship which they practised affected 
Hinduism. There is not the smallest ground for supposing that in the very 
earliest Hindu epochs the Aryan immigrants worshipped the snake ; yet it is 
quite certain that long before the Christian era some of the great Hindu sects 
had introduced the worship into their religious ceremonies, and that, at the 
present day, all Hindu sects, without exception, pay divine homage to the 
snake. In a work of a purely practical character it would be out of place to 
enter upon a lengthened disquisition on a subject of this nature. I shall content 
myself by merely stating the belief, that the Aryans received their snake 
worship from the aboriginal races, probably at a time when they were in 
political subordination to them. 

Various communities in India are designated after the NS^ga or snake. 
Several Nfi^ga or Serpent Tribes are found among the hills to the south of 
Assam. There is also a class of Hindu mendicants scattered about the country 
who call themselves NS,gas, that is, belonging to the Serpent Race. In our 
judgment, there is every likelihood that all these N&ga or Serpent Tribes, 
including the N&gbansl Rajpoots, were primarily connected with each other. 
This conjecture cannot be established by historical records, yet a careful com- 
parison of the peculiar social customs which they practise would go far to settle 
the question of its validity. 

A few families of the N&gbansl tribe reside in Benares, chiefly in the 
RftmS^pftra quarter of the city, where they have been for as many as five or six 
generations past, having come originally from ChotS, N&gpAr, in which province 
the tribe is found in considerable strength. The head of the N&gbansis of, 
Benares is Sankar Khan Datt Singh, a landowner of wealth and influence. 
Colonies of the tribe are found at SultAnpftr, a few miles from that city in the 
direction of Chun&r. The Nftgbansls of Benares and its neighbourhood belong 
to the Vatsa gotra. 

In the Census Returns of the North Western Provinces for 1865, no 
account whatever is taken of this class of Rajpoots. 

The NSgbansts are numerous in the district of G-orakhpftr, some of whom, 
says Buchanan, call themselves by this name, while others assume the name of 
Yay&sa, a town between Lucknow and the Granges, although acknowledging 


themselves to be Nfigbansls. He also states that the NSghansl Rajpoots are 
remnants of the aboriginal Cheriis, ' once the kings of at least the Gangetic 
provinces' (a). 


A small tribe of Rajpoots in the district of Benares, sprung from Cawnpftr, 
whence it derives its appellation of K&npftriya. Families also of the same 
tribe are found in other districts, such as those of Jaunpftr and AUahabS^d, and 
of CawnpAr itself. The Kfi,npftriyas are powerful and wealthy Rajpoots in the 
Province of Oudh. No fewer than fifteen chiefs have the right and privilege 
of sitting in the Viceroy's Durbar as representatives of the tribe. 


A small community of Rajpoots of this name inhabit the town of GangS,- 
pftr, in the Benares district. The town is famous for its connexion with the 
family of the Maharaja of Benares. 


A Rajpoot tribe long established in the Bhadohl pargannah of the district 
of Mirzapiir. A few families also are met with in the neighbouring district of 
Jaunpftr. The tribe is small. 


A tribe of Rajpoots inhabiting the district of Allahabad, respecting whom 
Mr. G. Ricketts remarks as follows. In pargannah Meh there is a caste called 
'Tussaiyah,' whose cognomen is susceptible of explanation. They were 
Kshatriyas of Etawah ; and tradition has it that the founder of this clan was 
sent by Tim6r Sh&h to take possession of a tract of country from the Bhars. 
This was done ; and the name Tussaiyah is a corruption of ' Teg Shahiyah,' 
the sword of the king, explanatory alike of the nature of the mission and 
its originator' {b). 

Sarwar or Surwdr. 

A tribe of Rajpoots inhabiting the districts of Jaunpdr and MirzapAr, 
where they are met with in considerable numbers. A few likewise are found 

(a) Buchanan's Eastern India, Vol. 11., p. 460. 

(b) Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, App. p. 129. 



in the village of Surw&n, Benares, and also in Azimgarh, and even as far as 
Cawnpdr. I am unable to give any information respecting the origin of the 
tribe. It is worthy of remark, that there is a great similarity between the name 
of this race of Rajpoots and that of the Sarwaria branch of the Kanoujiya 
Brahmans, sprung from the Sarwar lands beyond the Saiju. A similarity of 
this nature, however, amounting even to an exact correspondence, is frequently 
found subsisting between Brahmans and Rajpoots. Both races have their 
Gautams, their Bh61nh&rs, their Kinw&rs, and likewise have the same gotrM, 
thereby professing to be descended from the same rishiSj or sages of primitive 
Hinduism. The Sarwars belong to the Garg gotra. 


This tribe has the tradition of being descended from Raja Bhoj. A few 
families are in Benares, where they hold the position of zamindars. Some how- 
ever, are engaged in trade, and in other ways. There is a considerable commu- 
nity of the TJjain Rajpoots in the district of Cawnpftr. Several clans are found 
also in FarakhabM and Azimgarh ; and a small number of families in Gorakhpftr. 

The Ujainls have been for many generations settled at Sasserd^m and Hus- 
sainpftr. They are of the S& varan gotra or order. 


A tribe not found in the district of Benares, yet inhabiting certain tracts 
in the neighbouring district of Jaunp6r, where it is found in considerable 
strength. According to the Census Returns of 1865, there were in that year 
upwards of six thousand members of the tribe in that district alone. There 
were also a few families in the adjoining district of Azimgarh. The tribe is 
called Dhusat as weU as Dhanawast. It is of the Kasyap gotra or order. 

Chaupata Khambh. 

A ti'ibe claiming to be Rajpoots found in the city of Benares. Its numbers 
are few ; these are, for the most part, engaged in the manufacture of fine wire 
used in the frames in which cloth of various descriptions is woven. Some fami- 
lies are devoted to trade. 

The tribe is very strong in the district of Jaunpiftr, where it numbers up- 
wards of fifteen thousand individuals. A few families are also found in the 
neighbouring district of Azimgarh. 


The tradition of the Chaupata Khanbibhis is, that two Brahmans, named 
Baldeo and Euldeo, cahie fromf Sarwar, beyond the Ghogra, and settled down in 
the Patkholi village of the Kirakat pargannah^ in the district of Jaunpiir. It 
appears that Raja Jai Chand, of the Lunar Race of Rajpoots, gave his daughter 
in marriage to Baldeo, which circumstance was a source of great vexation to 
Kuldeo, who determined to show his indignation by setting up a pillar, or 
khamhh^ as a sign that Baldeo's family had become degenerate. The descend- 
ants of Baldeo consequently received their designation from the pillar, and 
were called Chaupat Khambhs (a). 


A class of Rajpoots numbering from fifty to a hundred families, holding 
the position of zamindars, or landholders, in the district of Benares. The tribe 
is very numerous in the neighbouring district of JaunpAr, where nearly a thou- 
sand families, or between four and five thousand members of the tribe, are 
located. It bears the appellation of Bhanwa as Well as Bhanwag. There is a 
colony of the tribe at Saidpiir Bhitri in the GhazipAr district. 


This tribe is of the Sombansl or Lunar Race of Rajpoots. Its tradition is, 
that, in former times, it came from Delhi and settled in PartSbgarh, in Oudh, 
whence it extended itself to GhazipAr, in which district, at the present day, the 
tribe is found located in four villages. 


A large and important tribe in the district of Jaunpdr, where it numbered 
at the last Census between twenty and thirty thousand persons. There are 
colonies of the tribe amounting to a hundred families, or more, in each of the 
districts of Allahabad, Mirzapftr, and Benares. A small number also is found 
in Azimgarh (b). In Benares the Nan wags are landholders. At their head 
is Sangr&m Singh, a zamindar of influence and position. The Nanwags appear 
to have entered the Bhadohl Pargannah of the Mirzapftr district, and to have 

(a) Report of the Census of the Norih- Western Proyinces for 1865, Vol. I., p. 115. 

(b) Ibid, Vol. II., p. 10. 


settled there with the sanction of Raja Balwant Singh, head of the Benares 
family, in the middle of the last century. 
The tribe is of the Kasyap gotra. 


A few members of this tribe, consisting of some four or five families, inha- 
bit the Benares district, where they are zamindars^ or landholders. Several 
hundred families are located in the Azimgarh district. The tribe belongs to the 
Bh&rgau gotra or order. 


An insignificant race in the Gorakhpftr district claiming to be of the 
Rajpoot stock. Its numbers are small. A small community of the tribe has 
established itself in the district of Azimgarh. 


A numerous tribe in the Sagrl Pargannah of the Azimgarh district. 
S&gar Rai, the common ancestor of the race, is traditionally regarded as having 
come from Purpachura, in the district of Fyzabad in Oudh, about three hundred 
years ago, and as having entered the service of the Raja of Azimgarh. Here 
a grandson of Sdgar Rai, by name Dhandi Rai, had an opportunity of 
distinguishing himself. A notorious bandit was at that time committing great 
depredations in the district, and no efibrt of the Raja was sufficient to check him. 
Dhandi Rai obtaining the permission of the Raja, made a gallant attack upon 
the bandit, captured, and killed him. In testimony of his gratitude, the Raja 
presented Dhandi Rai with an extensive estate of fourteen miles in circumfer- 
ence, now known as the Taluqa Nainijaur (a). 

Palwdr or Paliwdr. 

A tribe found in considerable numbers in several districts to the east of 
Allahabad. The name is apparently the same as that of the Faliw&l Banyas, 
the I and r being interchangtoble. But I suppose the similarity is accidental. 
The PaliwS^r Rajpoots have colonies in the five districts of Benares, Mirzapdr, 
Jaunp4r, Azimgarh, and Gorakhpftr. In Azimgarh, they numbered at the 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, Vol 11., Appendix B., p. 112. 


last Census upwards of thirteen thousand persons. In Benares the community 
is very smaU. 

The origin of the tribe is said to be as follows. Tradition states that a 
man named PatrSj, of the Sombansl tribe of Rajpoots, migrated from the neigh- 
bourhood of Delhi to the village of Bandlpftr, in the Fyzabad district, where he 
made himself famous by his conflicts with the Rfij Bhars, with whom he success- 
fully fought, and whom he defrauded of their estates. He had four wives of four 
different castes, namely Rajpoot, Ahir, Bhar, and another unmentioned. Their 
descendants were called Palw&l&, — the name of the father, afterwards contracted 
to Palw&l, — Ahiriniya, Bhariniya, and Dyniya (a). 

Singhel or Singalt. 

A tribe of Rajpoots found exclusively in the Azimgarh district, where it 
numbers about a thousand families. The Singhels are of the Kasyap gotra. 


A tribe peculiar to Benares, where it numbers a few hundred families. ' I 
am not aware that it is found in any other district. 


A small community of Rajpoots residing in the city of Benares, engaged in 
trade or as servants. They are of the Bh&raddwSj gotra. Some families also of 
this tribe are found at Deoganw, in the Azimgarh district, and at Saltmpftr 
Majhauli, in the Gorakhp^ district 

(a) Report of the Censiu of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, VoL IL, pp. 112, 113. 




It would be out of place to venture on a discussion respecting the origin of 
this numerous and exceedingly interesting tribe. This will be found elsewhere, 
especially in Colonel Tod's Rajasthan. Although the JS^ts are included among 
the thirty-six royal tribes of Rajpoots, yet they are not commonly spoken of as 
Rajpoots, nor do they intermarry with other tribes. There is very good reason, 
however, for the belief that alliances have been at times formed between them 
and other Rajpoots. Much curious speculation has been expended on the origin 
of the J&ts, which it is not the object of this work to discuss, much less to 

The race is variously designated. It is called Tati, Get, Jaut, Jhat, Jit, 
Jat, and J&t. It is very numerous in the Panjab and, and in both 
places is known as Jit. On the Jumna and Ganges, and in the North Western 
Provinces generally, the tribe bears the name of J&t. Its traditions state that 
its ancient home was to the west of the Indus. 

Sir Henry Elliot affirms, that in these Provinces the tribe has two great 
divisions, ^^ the Dhe and the Hele of the Do&b, or Pachh&de and DeswS^le of 
Rohilkhand and Delhi. The former (the Dhe and Pachh&de) are a later swarm 
from that teeming hive of nations which has been winging its way from the 
North West from time immemorial." 

The Maharaja of Bhartpiir is the most distinguished member of the J&t 
tribe in these Provinces. 

The Jftts are very numerous in the Muzaffamagar district, where they 
have a great many sub-divisions. Some have come thither from the Panjab 
at a comparatively recent period, while others have been there for a very long 

time. The Salaklain and Balain J&ts were reputed to have once held a 

p 1 


chaurdst of (or eighty-four) villages on the western side of the district. The 
Balains are a very extensive sub-division of the JS,ts. 

They are the most numerous of all the land-owning tribes in Meerut, and 
look upon Hari&na and R§ as the countries whence their forefathers 
originally came. " They gained their first footing/* says Mr, W, A. Forbes, 
the late Collector of Meerut," in the Chaprault and Barot pargannahs of the 
Meerut district, pushing out before them the Taga occupants of the soil ; and 
thence they spread themselves, though in less compact colonies, over the whole 
district. The Jslts, as a caste, are again sub-divided amongst themselves into 
distinct families or tribes, which, in many respects, particularly as regards 
marriage, hold aloof from each other. There are the Hela JktSj the Dehta, the 
Sulkhan, and the Des or Dest JUts, all distinct from each other, and recognizing 
some distinguishing customs. The latter, or Desl tribe, are found in the greatest 
numbers. As agriculturists they are the very best farmers and the most indus- 
trious of all the castes in these Provinces, patient and longsuflfering as tax- 
payers, quiet and peace-loving generally as subjects, but, like their parent stock, 
the Rajpoots, easily roused to avenge a fancied wrong, or in obedience to their 
chieftain^s calF' (a). 

The J^ts of Bulandshahr came from Hari&na, and first of all were cultiva- 
tors of the soil, but afterwards, on Raja Suraj Mull acquiring possession of the 
Do&b, embraced the opportunity of seizing the villages which they now occupy. 
They have added the estate of Kocheswar. At the last Census they held as 
many as one hundred and ninety-five villages in that district alone (6). 

In Aligarh the Jats have several clans as follows : — 

!• Tbakurailai. These have a temple at Karaoli. They are descended from Baja San^ 
Mull, and his followers : 

2. Thenwa. 

3. Aga. ] 

4. Sinsinwar. > These three elans are from the same ancestor. 

5. Khandia. ) 

6. Nau N^a. These are said to have sprung from Bajpoots of the Luiuir Baoe. Thev 

haye been in the district for a very long period (c). 

The Jats were among the earliest known inhabitants of the district of 
ShS^hjahanpftr. Nearly one half of the Hindu population of the Mathurft district 
consists of members of this tribe. Formerly, they were divided here, aa 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, App. B^ Mr. W. A* Porbes' Me- 
morandum, p. 12. 

(b) Ibidy Mr^ G. H. Lawrence's Memorandum, p. 21. 

(c) Mr^ Cline*0 Memorandum, p. 27. 


elsewhere, into two brandies, Desw&la and Pach&de, the latter having come into 
that part of the country at a comparatively recent period ; but of late years 
they have blended together. 

Most of the J&t clans, it is said, are represented in the district of Agra, and 
are most conspicuous in the pargannahs of Pharrab, Ehandault, and Ferozayid. 
They have been in those parts for several centuries, and are supposed to have 
come thither from Aligarh, MathurS., and Bhartpftr. A few are found in the 
district of Jhd,nst, in Bundelkhand. 

A clan of J&ts known by the term Aol&niya occupies about forty villages in 
Panipat B&ngar, who are in reality Gatw&ras. " Although Hindus, they claim 
the title of Malik, which, they say, was bestowed upon them by a certain king as 
a token of their superiority to their brethren/' Another clan, termed Afldl and 
Hddi indiscriminately, holds twenty villages in the same place, and twenty more 
in Sonipat B&ngar (a). 

The Bagris also, between EEariina and the GhS^grd, are said to be Jkta ; but 
there is considerable doubt respecting them. Some suppose that they are 
aborigines, an opinion held by Colonel Tod. The term Bagrl, however, is used 
as a designation of clans connected with various tribes (b). Bigar, says Sir 
H. ElHot, is likewise the name of a considerable tract in MilwsL, the inhabitants of 
which are called Bagii. This circumstance gives a clue, perhaps, to the origin 
of the entire family. 

The Koris are an extensive clan of J&ts in the country districts around 
Agra. The Dahiyas are in Rohtak, Eharkhanda, Mandautht, Panipat, and 
Sonlpat Bangar. The Dal&ls occupy villages also in Rohtak. The Jigliins are 
proprietors of a few villages in Panipat Bangar. The J&khars are a clan of the 
same tribe ( c ). The Jatdtnis are found in Bohilkhand and Delhi. 


This is a very numerous tribe in certain districts of the North- Western 
Provinces, and is chiefly addicted to agricultural pursuits. In the Muzafiar- 
nagar district they have the tradition that their great ancestor on the father's 
side was a Rajpoot, but they are by no means certain of their ancestor on the 
motlier's side. Some say that she was a Yaisya ; others, that she was a Sudra ; 

(a) Elliot*8 Glossary, Vol. L, p. 

(Jb) Bid, p. 9. 

(c) IM, pp, 88, 180. 



and others still, that she was even a Cham&r. The probability perhaps is that 
the Gdjars of those parts are the offspring of intermarriages between Bajpoots 
and women of their own and other tribes. The Kalsan Gi&jars of the Shamlt 
Tahsil of that district state that they are descended from Ealsa, a Rajpoot chie^ 
who settled at EaivlinS. nearly seven hundred years ago. Many of the clan have 
become Mahomedans. 

The Supplemental Glossary has some interesting and valuable observa- 
tions on this tribe* It states that they have given names not only to Gujerd^t in 
.Western India, but also to Gujer&t and Gujr&nw&lS. in the Panjab. The writer 
seems to think that they are partly of Rajpoot blood, and partly of the blood of 
other castes. In the last century the present district of SahS^ranpftr was called 
Gujer&t, and the threefold division of that tract of those days is still usually 
adopted by the people. According to the enumeration of the Glossary, the 
tribe consisted of eighty-four clans ; but this is well-known to be a conven- 
tional number amongst the natives of India. General Cunningham has some 
singular speculations concerning the GQjars, whom he considers to be of Tartar 
origin (a). 

In his Memorandum on the Castes of Meerut, Mr. W. A. Forbes gives his 

opinion that the Gftjars have sprung from the same root as the Jkts. ^' It is 

quite uncertain," he states, " when or in what manner they came into this part 

of the country. The prevalent idea is that they arrived before the J&ts. They 

are of unsettled habits, and much given to cattle-stealing and plunder, rarely 

proving themselves good farmers, but showing many of the instincts of a half 

civilized nomad tribe. We find them generally holding lands along the borders 

of the rivers Jumna, Ganges, and the Hindun, where the grass jungles, and 

rough uncultivated lands, offer attractions to them for grazing their herds of 

cattle. Their legends point to Gujer&t as the land whence they first came" (b). 

According to Mr. G. H. Lawrence, the Gftjars are divided into three dans, 
as follows : 

1 Bhatti Gftjars. 

2 Mgar Giijars. 

3 Hindwd.nsa Gdjars. 

The Bhatti Gftjars, he says, are descended from Rao Eosal, a Bhatti Raj- 
poot; the N&gar Gftjars, from Raja N&g, of the Tomara tribe; and the 

(a) Elliot*8 Glossarj, Vol. I., pp. 99, 101. 

(fi) Report of the GensiiB of the North- Western Frovincefl for 1865, Memorandum on the Castes of 
Meerut by Mr. W. A. Forbes, pp. 18, 14. 


Hindw&nsa Gilyars, from an alliance between the Ponwar Bajpoots and the Nfi^gar 
Gftjars. Probably these three clans of Gftjars are restricted to the Bulandshahr 
district, of which Mr. Lawrence was the Collector and Magistrate. His opinion 
is, that the race came originally from Gujer&t (a). The Bhatti GAjars have a 
few families in Benares. 

The Gftjars of Bijnour sometimes pretend to be degraded Rajpoots and 
sometimes Ahlrs. They came into that district from the Upper Do&b about one 
hundred years ago. This tribe seems to have been one of the earliest recorded 
races inhabiting the district of ShS^hjahUnpftr, with whom were associated J&ts 
and Ahirs. The Gttjars of Farakhab&d came thither from Gurmukteswar. The 
Jd^ttis, and Jhinjars, and Jinhars, are said to be clans of this tribe. 

The tribe is found in the Etah district, and its principal families are 
Dhantoli, Hurdul, and B&bai ; but none are of any note, or are large land- 
holders. There are several thousands of Gfijars in Jh&nst, where they have 
been, according to their own traditions, for the last six hundred years, having 
come originally from the west. One of their chiefs, Bishan Singh, was the 
founder of the present small State of Sampthar. 

The Bhftrtiyas of Mirzapftr are generally believed to be Gftjars, who have 
changed their name to that which they now bear. 

•^ A clan of this tribe, known by the name of BatS^r, and supposed to occupy 
fifty-two villages, is found in Gangoh and Lakhnauti, in the district of Sah&ran- 
pftr, and also in Bijnour. The Cham&in is another clan in the possession of 
twelve villages in Panipat Bangar (b). Mr. Beames states, on the authority of 
Dixon's Mairw^a, that a Chandela branch of the Gftjars inhabits the Mairw&ra 
country (c). 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, Memorandum on the Castes of 
Bulandshahr, by Mr. G. H. Lawrence, pp. 21, 22. 

(b) Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, p. 71. 

(c) Ibid, p. 76. 





This tribe is found in considerable numbers in tbe districts of lUlrzapdr, 
Azimgarh, and Jaunp^r : a few also reside in Gorakhp^. Sir H. Elliot regards 
this clan as of mixed Brahman and Kajpoot descent, from the circumstance, 
apparently, that some of them are called Kajpoots, and others BhMnh&rs, as 
though the latter were necessarily a distinct race from the former, whereas 
BhMnh&rs may be Rajpoots, or may be Brahmans. He also says, that the were once strong enough " to establish a principality on the Kosi in 
Western Tirhftt ; and there are several monuments still existing in that neigh- 
bourhood which attest the power of the Donw&r Raja, KarnS; Deo" (a). 

Dr. W. Oldham discerns a marked difference between the Donwfi^r Rajpoots 
and the Donw&r Bh^tnh&rs of the OhazipAr district. The former are of a dark 
complexion, and have not Aryan features, while the latter, it would seem, are 
both of Aryan complexion and feature. It is quite possible that the Rajpoots 
may have aboriginal blood in their veins ; yet, if so, it is curious that they have 
retained no tradition on the subject. 

The Donw&r Rajpoots occupy various places in the Ghazipdr district. In the 
GarhH pargannah^ they have five large villages ; in Saidpiftr, twelve villa^s ; 
and are in considerable force in the Ghazipiir pargannah ; while others still are 
foimd in the pargannahs of Cawnptir, BahariabS^d, and Baliah. These last 
^ own all rights of fishery and of other spontaneous products of the great 
Surdh& Lake ' (b). 

The tribe belongs to the BhS^raddwdj gotra or order. 

(a) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, p. 86. 
(6) Memoir of the Ghazipiir District, p. 65. 



This dan of Rajpoots was once in possession of the Do&bl pargannahj in 
the Ghazipftr district Although they have, for the most part, lost the proprie- 
torship of this tract, which has passed into the hands of the wealthy and 
influential Raja of Domraon, yet they continue to inhabit the soil in large num- 
bers. They occupy many villages, which they have taken on lease from the 
Raja. As the land is peculiarly productive, not a few of the people are rich. 

" They are," says Dr. Oldham, " a sturdy, independent race, and addicted 
to feuds and afirays of a serious character. Their origin is doubtful ; and they 
are thought to rank very low amongst Rajpoots. Many of them are closely 
associated with the organized gangs of Dos&dh robbers, for whom this pargannah 
is famous. Kot long since an immense amount of valuable Fanjab and Cash- 
mere cloths was recovered from the house of a Lautamia, of great apparent 
respectability, the nephew of a Subahd&r in the army. Beriah, the chief village 
of the Lautamias, contains a population of 6,766 '^ (a). 


Some members of this small clan are settled in the Azimgarh district. 
They state that their ancestors were originally inhabitants of Gujer&t. Others 
are found in the ShadiablUi pargannahj of the Ghazipt^r district, where they 
are numerous, although their existence seems not to have been known to the 
compilers of the Census Report of 1865. At the Permanent Settlement, fifty-eight 
estates were assigned to them. They have a tradition that, about fifteen genera- 
tions back, Ratan Rai, the founder of the clan, ^' came from Mhowaldamau, 
expelled the Bhars, and took possession of the country which they now hold ^ {h). 

The K&kans of Azimgarh assert that Mor Bhatt, the founder of the clan 
in that district, first settled in the Nathiipikr pargafinah. From his four wives 
are descended the four families now found in the district, of which the most 
numerous is the last. They are as follows (c) : 

1. Brahman Bay^i. 

2. Bais Eshatriya, 

3. Lakhauncha. 

4. Mali 

The ES.kans are of the Qaurl goira or order* 

(a) Memoir of the 6hazip(br District, p. 59. 

(b) Ihid^ Fart I., p. 62. 

(c) CeDsos of the Nortii-WesterB Frovinces Ibv 1865^ Yol l^ Appendix &, pi 112. 



This clan of Rajpoots is found in the GhazipAr district, in the heart of the 
Zamftnlah pargannahy where it is in possession of three taluqas or large estates. 
Nawal, one of their principal villages, contains upwards of five thousand 
inhabitants. They are, however, fast being impoverished by Benares bankers 
and Ghazipdr lawyers (a). 

Kulhan or Kulhans. 

This clan of Rajpoots is found in Gorakhpdr. It originally came from the 
west, under the two chiefs Udai R&j Singh and Akhai R&j Singh, who received 
a grant of land in that district from the Emperor of Delhi. When Oudh became 
independent of the Delhi Emperors, Raja Jai Singh was at the head of the tribe ; 
and Raja Jubraj Singh, the third in descent from him, was at its head when the 
country fell into the hands of the English Gt>vernment. The Raja of Masti is 
its present representative. The tribe is scattered over several pargannahs. In 
Rasulpftr Ghaus, they hold large estates, where the chiefs of the clan are styled 
Babus of Chaukhara, and are said to be descended from former Rajas of that 
territory. A considerable colony of Kulhans inhabits the Province of Oudh. 
They have the privilege of sending eight chiefs to the Govemor-Greneral's 

Mahror or Mahrawar. 

This is said to be a spurious clan of Rajpoots of the district of Unao in 
Oudh. They were originally palanquin-bearers, called Eahftror Mahra, in the 
service of Raja Tilakchand, the head of the Bais Rajpoots of Baiswdra. On 
occasion of his troops being suddenly seized with panic while fighting with the 
Malhiabftd Pathans, he himself was wounded, and would have fallen into the 
hands of the enemy, but for the intrepidity of his palanquin-bearers, who fought 
their way bravely until they conveyed him to a place of safety. The Raja, 
grateful for their gallant conduct, thereupon elevated them to the rank of 
Rajpoots, and bestowed upon them a dozen villages. They have since greatly 
increased, and have been able to add other villages to their estate. Moreover, 
their position as Rajpoots is recognized by other tribes, which intermarry 
freely with them (6). They are of the Kausik and Vatsa gotras, or orders, of 

(a) Dr. W. Oldbam*8 Statistical Memoir of the Ghazip^ DiBtrict, Part I., pp. 65, 66. 

(b) Mr. G. A. £lliott*8 Chronicles of Oonao, p. 62. 


The Parganndhs of BasulUb&d and Astwan, in the same district, are, says 
Mr. Elliott, ^^ full of a caste called Gamhelas, who profess to be descended from 
the Mahrors, but to be illegitimate, an Ahir woman having been their ancestor. 
The Mahrors, too, agree in this story ; but the Gamhelas are so enormously 
numerous, that it is difficult to conceive that they should haye all descended in 
so short a time from a single pair. They are found in great numbers in 
Rohilkhand, and are considered the best cultivating class in these parts. They 
do not wear the sacred cord, or take the title of Singh ; and marry solely 
among each other" (a). 

A few members of this tribe are settled in Benares, some of whom are 
zemindars, or proprietors of land, and others are engaged in trade. Small com- 
munities of Mahrors are met with in the widely separated districts of Azimgarh 
and Mor&dab&d. They have a colony also in Gorakhpftr, where they are 
regarded as low-bom Rajpoots. 

The tribe is known by the terms Madawar and Mahrawar, as well as by 
that of Mahror. 


This clan, like the Mahrors, belongs to the district of Unao, in Oudh. It is 
commonly believed that they are descended from an illegitimate progeny of 
Raja Tilakchand, of Baiswdi^. Other accounts, however, of their origin are 
given. Their own statement is, that they are genuine Raises. The conclusion 
arrived at by Mr. G. A. Elliott is, that they are illegitimate descendants of 
Tilakchand by an Ahlr woman. 

It is said that Raja Tilakchand gave them the Pargannah of Harha, called 
also Rat&nd,, or Rawat£ln&, afler them. They only possess now three out of the 
twelve portions into which the pargannah is divided. Their own account is, 
that they were robbed of their possessions by an aboriginal tribe of Son&rs, who 
rose so fiercely upon them that they almost destroyed their race. Full revenge 
was taken by a survivor, Binay Singh, who, by the aid of a force from Delhi, 
attacked the Son&rs at night while they were in a state of intoxication, and cut 
to pieces the whole clan. The sovereignty over the entire Pargannah of Harha 
was regained by Daln&rain Singh, about the year 1700, A. D., and embraced also 
a portion of the Pargannah of Unao, which they seized from the Sayads. But 
Daln&rain Singh, who received the title of Chtpl Ehau, was not wise in his 

(a) Mr. C. A. EUiott*8 Ghronicles of Oonao, pp. 62, 68. 



generation, for lie diyided his property equally between the children of his two 
wives* This caused a deadly quarrel, which ended in his being killed by his 
eldest son. On account of the confusion in the family, Safdar Jang, the Nawab 
of Oudh, determined to demand a considerable increase of revenue from the 
brothers, which being refused, they were besieged in their Fort at Bihtar for a 
long time. For forty years they were kept out of possession of their estates, 
and regained them only in the year 1780 (o). 

The Rawats are also found in the district of Fathpt^r. The head of the clan, 
a few years ago, was Th&kur L41 S&h of Baij&nl. 


A colony of this tribe, numbering a hundred families, or between five and 
six hundred persons, is found in the Azimgaiii district. I am not aware that it 
is met with elsewhere. 


An insignificant clan of Rajpoots, in the GhazipAr district, where they seem 
to be confined to the Kop&chit Pargannah. 


This tribe seems to exist in only two districts of these Provinces, one 
Benares, the other Sah&ranpftr. In the former, its numbers are small, amount- 
ing to a few hundred souls. In the latter, however, the tribe has eight hundred 
or a thousand families. The Roras are engaged in trade. It is doubtful 
whether their claim to be regarded as Kshatriyas is well-founded. They speak 
of themselves as such ; and also make use of the terms Rora-khatri and 


A small community of Rajpoots found at ChunAx, in the Mirzapi^r district, 
and also at Ghisua, in the district of Jaunpftr. 


This is an extensive tribe of Rajpoots inhabiting the hill country of Garh- 
W&.1, Kumaon, and Dehra DAn. Their right to the rank of Rajpoots is ques- 
tioned by some Hindus. The main reason for this, I imagine, is, first of all, 

(a) Mr. C. A. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao« pp. 63, 65. 


tbe fact of their long residence in these regions, and, secondly, because they 
have no tribal connexions in the plains. Thus Hindu immigrants and visitors 
of high caste from the plains, finding it difficult to account for their origin, and 
not being able to trace their relationship to themselves, have been too ready to 
throw suspicion on the genuineness of their birth. 

That the tribe is very old, is manifest from the word which designates 
them, which is the ancient appellation of Eumaon, formerly called Ehas-des, or 
the country of the Khas people. The singular circumstance, that they do not 
wear the sacred cord, and personally engage in agricultural labour, in both 
respects being unlike Rajpoots of the plains, is not a proof, as has been sup- 
posed, of their not being Bajpoots, but of the great simplicity and antiquity of 
their usages. The natives of Eumaon look upon the Ehasiyas as the oldest 
inhabitants of the province. Nearly one half of the entire population of Garh- 
wM consists of them. 

It is said that Dehra D&n was peopled by the Ehasiyas from G-arhw&l, sent 
thither by the Kaja of that Province. They have the titles among them of 
Bawat, Bisht Negl, Earaoli, and Baulior. 






The relation of the Yaisya and Sudra castes to the genuine Aryan tribes, 
which entered India in the pre-Yedic era, and gradually established themselves 
in various parts of the country, has proved a fertile subject of controversy. 
That the Vaisyas were foimerly chiefly engaged in rural pursuits seems certain 
and incontestible. If this were so, who and what were the Sudras ? Were 
they a helot race, partly aboriginal, and partly not so ? It would be out of 
place for the writer to enter the lists of disputation on these subjects in the 
present work. As a fact, the Vaisyas are now scarcely at all an agricultural 
people, while the Sudras have stepped into the position which they once occu- 
pied in the cultivation of the soil. At the same time, in the social and political 
revolutions which have at times passed over the country, the two great races 
of Vaisyas and Sudras have become so intimately blended that it is hard to 
point with precision to any leading distinction between them. All indeed that, 
for the most part, can be said respecting them, amounts to the statement merely, 
that certain castes are purer Vaisyas or purer Sudras than certain others. Here 
and there a Vaisya caste may be found with an irreproachable lineage for many 
generations. Yet it is hardly to be expected that any Vaisya caste should 
furnish satisfactory proof of its own caste-purity in ancient times. Their tradi- 
tions trace back their history in some cases a few hundred years; but almost 
every instance is confined within the limits of the period of the Mahomedan 
conquest of India. Absence of proof, however, is in itself after all no positive 
evidence against the antiquity of any caste. It is therefore not improbable 
that a small number of Vaisya castes of great strictness in the observance of the 
rules of their order, may be descended from primitive Vaisya tribes with little 
or no intermingling with other castes. 


In ancient Hindu periods the middle and lower castes were of no political 
weight or authority, and were not deemed worthy of considtation, or even of 
consideration, by the higher castes. And this, in the main, was their condition 
likewise under their Mahomedan conquerors. Under British rule, however, the 
relation of the castes has been radically changed. Their presumed impurity of 
blood, and inherent inferiority, owing, as imagined, to the operation of divine 
laws in creation, were sufficient to prevent their ever rising to an equal social 
and political position with either the Brahman or the Bajpoot, so long as these 
were able to retain the government of the country in their own hands. As 
races subject to the Mahomedan invaders, they were evidently too much despised 
for their ignorance and superstition, to venture for an instant to supplant the 
higher castes, especially as they had nothing to commend them to the good 
opinion of their rulers. 

What was impossible under former administrations, is possible under Eng- 
lish law, the fundamental principle of which is, that all men are equal. It has 
taken a century for this fundamental principle to be understood by the natives 
of India, so absolutely were they under the dominion of caste prejudice and 
tyranny ; and even now it is nowhere comprehended with that clearness and 
exactness of perception with which an Englishman regards it, while in many 
places it fails to exert any influence at all. In towns and cities, however, and 
over a considerable extent of country around them, the influence of English 
law is more or less strongly felt. It is aided by that spirit of our Indian rulers 
which prompts them to select the persons best fitted for the offices in their dis- 
posal, irrespective of caste, or rank, or anything else. It is sustained and 
strengthened by the sound education ofiered to the natives of every rank 
through the medium of colleges and schools. This influence is the vitalizing 
power of Englishmen themselves, is the element in which they live and breathe, 
is that subtle" spirit which is seen in all their movementls, and reflects itself from 
them upon the natives in every direction. Add to this the Christian faith 
which consciously or unconsciously forms the web and the woof of British legis- 
lation, whether in England or in India, and which strives to elevate the depressed, 
to abolish ignorance, and to generate the desire for freedom in every breast, and 
we have in these collective forces an energy of irresistible potency in moving 
and transforming the masses of India. 

The result is a national revolution and reformation. The religious aspect 
of the change I pass oyer in this place. Its social and political import, how- 
ever, in a work of this nature, demands some consideration. It is plain, to any 


person of reflection, that the old landmarks separating class from class by 
impassable barriers, and preserving all for ages in certain relative positions, no 
longer exist in their former intensity. The dominant Brahman and Rajpoot tribes 
have lost all their authority and much of their influence. The Sudra no longer 
thinks it a sin to read ; on the contrary, he conceives it possible to become as 
wise as the Brahman, and does not hesitate to endeavour to surpass him. The 
Sudra and the Vaisya aim at the highest official posts, and find themselves elected 
often over the heads of high caste applicants, whom they are acute enough 
to perceive to be inferior to themselves. The Brahman looks on with amaze- 
ment at the subversion of his order and the destruction of his interests. 

The fairness of a system which makes all castes equal in the eye of the 
law, and gives them the same chance of success, is transparent Yet in India it 
presents itself to the people as a new and strange idea, the meaning and bearing 
of which they are, as just remarked, unable fully to grasp. Even in England 
the upper classes are hardly accustomed to the abandonment of privilege, and 
look upon every attempt to curtail it with disfavour and suspicion. Caste pre- 
judice in India may be said to be immeasurably stronger than the prejudice of 
rank among the aristocracy of England. Each of these classes watches over 
its special interests with a jealous eye. The two difier radically in this, that 
the English nobility are politically still very powerful, and therefore can defend 
their order when assailed. The higher castes of India, on the contrary, though 
even more tenacious of the rights of their order, which are associated in their 
minds with a divine sanction, are conscious at once of their utter powerlessness 
and political insignificance. For the loss they have thus sustained, nothing, 
in their judgment, counterbalances. Superior education, a just and equitable 
Government, the multiplication of the comforts of life, increased national pros* 
perity, good roads and bridges, railroads, telegraphs, and so forth, are no suflfi-' 
cient compensation for this loss. 

Nevertheless, the Hindus, gentle and pliable, have become reconciled to the 
change of system, and are endeavouring to make the best of their altered cir* 
cumstances. The higher castes, too, in the main, submit themselves calmly to 
it. They are wise enough to perceive the manifold benefits which they secure 
from British rule ; and they reflect also, that the same advantages were not pos* 
sessed by their forefathers under Mahomedan sway. 

This Subject has also a special relation to the Mahomedan population of 
India. The elevation of the middle and lower classes has not merely been 
prejudicial to higher caste Hindus, but also to Mahomedans. If the higher 



castes have suffered much by the diminution of their authority during the last 
century of British administration, it is indisputable that the Mahomedans have 
suffered more, inasmuch as, while the former have been eager to reap the fruits 
of such administration, the latter have been, for the most part, inattentive to 
them. They have, moreover, felt their position all the more keenly, from 
the circumstance that they themselves were the immediate predecessors of the 
British in the government of the country. The fault lies chiefly with the 
Mahomedans, however, for they have pertinaciously resisted the friendly over- 
tures of their rulers in many ways. At the same time, greater consideration 
might have been shown to them, whereby their good-will would have been 
more effectually courted, and perhaps secured, without in the least infringing 
on the evenhandedness of the British Government. 

The phenomenon is striking, that British rule in India tends to elevate the 
masses, to depress the aristocracy, to make the middle class powerful, and to 
introduce uniformity into all grades of native society. This general action of 
the Government contrasts somewhat abruptly with the distribution of personal 
honours and distinctions to deserving persons, and with the special attention 
paid to natives, of the upper ranks on great public occasions. 

The Vaisyas and ^igher S udras are to India much like what the middle 
class is to lEnglanH. Public opinion, sucE^ as itls, is more moulded an? influ- 
enced by them than by any of the other Hindu tribes. Add to them the 
Kayasths, or great Writer Caste, who occupy a position socially at the head 
of theSudras, or between them and the Vaisyas, and are an exceedingly 
intelligent and enterprising people, and you have a middle class, eager, restless, 
persevering, self-willed, prosperous, and powerful. They are, on the whole, 
better educated even than the Brahmans, whose intellects, for the most part, 
only receive a one-sided training. They have broader, and consequently 
sounder views, on most questions of general interest than the twice-born, 
although they are far inferior to them in mental subtlety and keenness. In 
understanding and influence, they are considerably superior to the Eshatriya 
or Rajpoot caste, the members of which occupy a position undoubtedly of great 
social dignity, and naturally, I dare say, are as talented as the Vaisyas ; but 
they lack the vast opportunities for calling forth their ability, which the latter 
possess. The Rajpoot caste has supplied India with Rajas and warriors during 
many ' generations. The native soldiers of the Indian Government are still 
drawn largely from this tribe ; but the occupation of a soldier, although very 
honourable in India, much more so than in England^ fails to impart to the 


easte that social and political power exerted by these other castes. And in regard 
to the Sajas, while it is still the fact that they are mostly Rajpoots or Ksha- 
triyas, nevertheless they may be reckoned as scarcely more than ciphers in 
the great Hindu commonwealth. The truth is, having nothing to do, they 
lead an indolent, thoughtless life. Their wealth and rank inspire respect, which, 
combined with old family prestige, makes a Raja a little god in his own neigh- 
bourhood. But this is all. He has no authority, no occupation, no great 
interest at stake beyond the disposal of his fortune. He has no living voice 
wherewith to speak to the nation ; and he can do nothing of any importance 
without extensive consultation with his foreign rulers. Hence, with all his 
superfluity of quietness and ease, with his entire freedom from anxiety and care, 
he is scarcely satisfied. How should he be ! 

It is indisputable, that the policy pursued by the British Government in 
India has been to raise to unexampled prominence and importance the commercial 
or trading castes of the country, and to bring to the birth a great middle class, 
which could not possibly have had an existence under either Hindu or Maho- 
medan rule, and which has already thrown into the shade the sacred Brahman 
and the haughty noble, the ancient dispensers of honour and power, and of all 
the blessings supposed to constitute a people's happiness. As a nation of 
traders, we could not, perhaps, prevent our innate tendencies from manifesting 
themselves. Indeed, what other result was, in the nature of things, to have 
been anticipated ? For the last hundred years India has been governed by the 
middle class of Great Britain — ^and has been governed grandly, and well. 
I pass no opinion on the subject, and only speak historically when I say, that 
the class ruling in India has raised up a class among the natives very similar 
to itself. The wisdom of such a course has hardly yet been ever properly 
tested. The test will have to be applied on any occasion of great political 
disturbance in the country, involving the social status and dignity of the castes. 

In England, it should be remembered, the middle class is kept within 
bounds, and its utterances are freed from many crude and vain imaginings, 
by the classes both above and below it. Thus valuable checks are applied to 
its outspoken energy ; and its practical sagacity is permitted to flow forth in 
benefits to the nation. But in India no such checks exist. The possessors 
and dispensers of power are foreigners, with no personal sympathy whatever 
for the people they govern. The sacerdotal class, formerly omnipotent, has 
lost all its prerogatives ; the ancient nobility is a splendid phantom of the past, 
without life; the lower Sudras, and all beneath them, a vast multitudei 


are mere clods, ignorant and helpless. What remain, but the Yaisyas, and 
upper Sudra tribes ? In them is vitality, energy, enterprise. They have caught 
something of English inspiration — and are par excellence the progressive 
classes of India, at the present day. But they are without salutary checks, 
save those which come from the strong hand of the wise man. This is the 
class that is chiefly seeking the education of English schools and colleges, and 
by increasing its knowledge is augmenting its power. 

Ceremonies among the Sudra Castes, 

These ceremonies are, in many respects, like those observed by the Brah- 
mans and Rajpoots ; but as there are important differences, I have deemed 
it best to give a separate account of them. 

On the birth of a chUd among the Sudras, a Brahman is at once sent for, who 
announces the nakshatra or planet under which it has been bom. A chamain 
or wife of a chamdr fa dealer in leather), is also summoned, for the purpose 
of taking charge of both mother and infant. She remains for six days, and 
then leaves, after receiving her neg or present of money, clothes, and other 
things. Her place is supplied by a n&iin, or wife of a barber, a person of more 
respectability, who continues her service for a month or upwards. On the 
sixth day the mother is allowed to bathe according to the time fixed by the Brah- 
man ; and her friends visit her, bringing with them spices, clarified butter, and 
articles of clothing for the child. She also bathes on the twelfth day, and is 
considered to be ceremonially clean. Her friends now approach her person, 
which they are permitted to touch, offering their congratulations. During 
the whole of the first twelve days, the women of the neighbourhood gather 
themselves daily at the house, and sing songs, called Sohar, in honour of the 
occasion. If the infant is born in the mul nakshatra^ the woman remains 
impure for twenty-seven days, as amongst the Brahmans. But there are cer- 
tain cases in which she may be compelled to continue apart from all other 
persons for a year, and in extreme cases for ten or even twelve years. On such 
occasions the father sees the face of his child for the first time reflected in clari- 
fied butter. Feasts are given to members of the caste both on the sixth and 
twelfth day. 

When the child, if a boy, is six months old, and, if a girl, five months, the 
ceremony of Anaprdahanna is performed by the worship of fire ; and the child is 
permitted to eat the food of Hindus for the first time. At the age of five or six 
years, the boy's head is shaved in the presence of some deity ; after performing 


which ceremony he is put to learn the trade or occupation from which eventually 
he is to obtain his livelihood. 

Marriage takes place when the boy is ten or twelve years old. A Brah- 
man is first called, who, after stating the horoscope of the boy and girl, announ* 
ces the lucky day on which the marriage ceremony may be performed. This 
being accomplished, the custom of pdnblra is observed, when pawn and money 
are given to the bridegroom. After this, presents of various kinds are sent 
from the house of the bride to that of the bridegroom. The way is now pre- 
pared for the ceremony of Mat-magra| at which women dig earth from the 
ground, and with it make the female figure, called mdtrika^ which is afterwards 
worshipped. Oil is poured on the head of every woman who visits the house 
on that day. A Brahman is appointed to select the spot on which the marriage 
is to be performed, which is covered with plantain leaves spread over bamboo 
poles, and bears the designation of Marwa. The body of the bridegroom 
having been washed, it is rubbed all over with oil and hardly a yellow powder, 
a ceremony termed Telhardl. The day before the marriage takes place, the eldest 
person of the bridegroom's family performs all the ceremonies required to 
satisfy the wishes of deceased ancestors. On the marriage day, called Bhat- 
w&n, the attending women engage in certain ceremonies, one of which is to 
prepare food for the bridegroom, a portion of which is taken away by him and 
buried. Women also fetch parched rice or Idwa from the Bhunja, or grain 
roaster, and putting it into the bridegroom's hand, both himself and his bride 
walk round the Marwa, otherwise termed BanH. Before this ceremony, how- 
ever, the bridegroom goes in procession to the house of the bride for the 
removal of the girl to the place where the marriage is to be celebrated. He is 
met by the bride's father a certain distance from the house, and Dwd.r-p6ja, or 
worship, is performed at the door of the house. The father applies the tilak 
or mark to the forehead of the bride, and assigns a house in which the marriage 
is to be celebrated. The ceremony is performed at night. A Brahman first 
reads manirasj or sacred texts, suitable to the occasion. After this the ,boy 
puts a crown made of flowers, called Maur, on his head, and goes to the place 
appointed for the marriage. On the second day he eats khicharij food made 
of condiments ; after which the ceremony of Acharpakrai is performed, when 
the bride catches hold of the clothes of every woman present, and receives pre- 
sents from them. During the night the bride's father is summoned. On coming 
he partakes of food, and performs certain ceremonies. On the third day the 
wedded pair proceed to his house, where, after a time, they worship Granesh* 


At the expiration of a year, or, in some cases, when the bride and bride- 
groom are very young, of three or four years, or even more, the second marriage 
or gauna is performed, which is somewhat similar to the first. After this they 
live together. Yet, should the husband die in the meantime, the wife is regarded 
as a widow, and, in many cases, is not permitted to marry again. The lower 
castes are, however, happily not so particular, and permit widows to re-marry. 

The ceremonies observed on the death of a Sudra are very similar to those 
practised by the higher castes. On the first day the members of the family of 
the deceased are not permitted to eat anything. From the second day offerings 
begin to be made in the name of the departed one, with the view apparently of 
affording repose to his spirit The near relative who has set fire to the funeral 
pile continues unclean till the tenth day, when his head is shaved, and he is 
regarded as ceremonially clean. 



Gosain, Dand!, Tridandl, Jogi, Sanj&st, BairSgt, Sri Vaislmao, R&dh& 
Vallabhl, Bharthari, Eanphatha, Jangam, Digambar, SanjogrS., Nirm&It, Sukh- 
panni, Bdm-margi, Kh&k, Bait&li-Bh^ Sharbhange, Sakhibhao, AbbjUgat, Kan- 
chahl, Pauhftri, Shiv&chftri, Bramhachfi^ri, Seward, Jati, Akfishmukhi, Urddhbflhii, 
MaunidS^si, Abadhiita, Sadhanpanthi, Harischandt, EartHbhajd^ R£lmd.vat, B&ma- 
nandi, Charandain, Raid^panthi, Eabirpanthi, Dd^dupanthi, Uddjsi, N&nak-shsLhi, 
Mkapanthi, Ak&li, Suthra, Aghori, Bahikatha, KapMt. 


The term Gosain is so vaguely employed by Hindus generally, that it 
becomes necessaryTo explain its'varTous sigiiiificatToas, and also to show in what 
sense it furnishes the name to a distinct caste. Commonly, any devotee is 
called a Gosain, whether he lives a life of celibacy or not, whether he roams 
about the country collecting alms, or resides in a house like the rest of the 
people, whether he leads an idle existence, or employs himself in trade. The 
mark, however, that distinguishes all who bear this name is, that they are 
devoted to a religious life. Some besmear their bodies with ashes, wear their 
hair dishevelled and uncombed, and, in some instances, coiled round the head 
like a snake or rope. These formerly went naked, but being prohibited by the 
British Government to appear in this fashion in public, bid defiance to decency 
nevertheless by the scantiness of their apparel. They roam about the country in 
every direction, visiting especially spots of reputed sanctity, and as a class are 
the pests of society and incorrigible rogues. They mutter sacred texts or 
mantras, and are notably fond of uttering the names of certain favourite deities. 
Some of them can read, and a few may be learned ; but for the most part they 
are stolidly ignorant. Others, of a much higher grade, reside in maths or 
monasteries, where they lead a life of contemplation and asceticism. Yet they 


quit their homes occasionally, and, like the first named, undertake tours for the 
purpose of begging, and also proceed on pilgrimage to remote places. Most 
of them wear a yellowish cloth, by which they make themselves conspicuous. 
Faqirs or devotees of both of these classes usually wear several garlands of 
beads suspended from their necks and hanging low down in front ; and carry 
a short one in the hand, which by the action of a thumb and finger, they revolve 
perpetually, but slowly, keeping time with the low utterances proceeding from 
their lips. They also bear upon their foreheads, and frequently on other parts 
of their bodies, particularly the arms and chest, sacred marks or symbols, in 
honour of their gods. 

In addition, there is a considerable number of Gosains, not however 
separated from the rest by any caste distinctions, who, although by profession 
belonging to this religious class, apply themselves, nevertheless, to commerce 
and trade. As merchants, bankers, tradesmen, they hold a very respectable 
position. Some carry on their transactions on a large scale. One of the pria- 
cipal bankers in the city of Mirzapore, is a Mahant or high-priest of Gosains — ^a 
celibate of great wealth and influence. 

One of the chief peculiarities of this caste, is, that besides its natural 
increase from within, it is constantly adding to its numbers from without. Brah- 
mans, Kshatriyas, Yaisyas, and Sudras, the two former especially, may, if they 
choose, become Gosains; but if they do so, and unite with the members of 
this fraternity in eating and drinking, holding full and free intercourse with 
them, they are cut off for ever from their own tribes. It is this circumstance 
which constitutes the Gosains a distinct and legitimate caste, and not merely a 
religious order. 

The ceremony observed at the creation of a Gosain is as follows. The 
candidate is generally a boy, but may be an adult. At the Shiv&-rfttri festival 
(in honour of Shiva) water brought from a tank, in which an image of the 
god has been deposited, is applied to the head of the novitiate, which is 
thereupon shaved. The guru^ or spiritual guide, whispers to the disciple a 
mantra or sacred text. In honour of the event all the Gosains in the neighbour- 
hood assemble together, and give their new member their blessing ; and a 
sweatmeat called laddu^ made very large, is distributed amongst them. The 
novitiate is now regarded as a Gosain, but he does not become a perfect one 
until the Yijaiya Hom has been performed, at which a Gosain, famous for religion 
and learning, gives him the original mantra of Shiva. The ceremony generally 
occupies three days in Benares. On the first day, the Gosain is again shaved,, 



leaving a tuft on the top of the head called in Hindi Chundt, but in Sanskrit, 
Shikhd,. For that day he is considered to be a Brahman, and is obliged to beg 
at a few houses. On the second day, he is held to be a Bramhachllii, and wears 
coloured garments, and also ihejaneo or sacred cord. On the third day, the 
janeo is taken from him, and the Chundi is cut oflT. The mantra of Shiva is 
made known to him, and also the Rudri Gayatri (not the usual one daily pro- 
nounced by Brahmans). He is now a full Gosain or wdn-parast, is removed 
from other persons, and abandons the secular world. Henceforth he is bound 
to observe all the tenets of the Gosains. The complete Gosains, who have 
performed the ceremony of Vijaya Horn, are celibates. It is customary there- 
fore for men not to perform it until they are forty or fifty years of age, as it 
involves the abandonment of their wives and families. Gosains will eat food 
in the houses of Brahmans and Rajpoots only. At death their bodies are 
not burnt, but are either buried or thrown into the Ganges. 

There are ten sub-divisions or clans of the Gosain caste or tribe, called 
DasnS^mt, as follows : 

1. Gir. 

2. Puri. 

8. Bh&rat. 

4. Ban. (These wander in jungles, and never cut 

5. Aran. their hair). 

6. Bodia. 

7. Jati. 

8. S&gar. 

9. Tlrth. 
10. Asram. 

It is, however, difficult to give a correct list of the ten sub-divisions. In 
Wilson's Glossary, Bodlfi, and Jatl are not stated, but Saraswatl and P&rvata are 
included in the list. Dr. Buchanan also mentions the names of Parbat, Saras- 
wati, and D&ndi. The last is certainly a mistake, as the D&ndi is of a special 
class of devotees. All the branches associate together, and intermarry. In 
this part of India they worship Vishnu; though in some other parts they 
seem to be devoted to Shiva. Everywhere Sankara Achd.rya is regarded as 
their spiritual guide. Indeed, he is said to be the founder of the sect, and the 
ten sub-divisions are considered to have been established by his ten disciples, 



and to bear their names. Formerly, the number of maths^ monasteries or con- 
ventual residences in Benares, was much larger than at the present day. A 
hundred years ago there were in the city, it is said, as many as fourteen hun- 
dred of these maths^ while it is calculated that there are now not more than seven 
hundred. They are mostly to be found in the districts known as Lakshmi Kund, 
S6raj Kund, Misr Pokhrft, Terhi Nlm, and S&khi Binaik. Many families of 
Gosains, at one time resident in Benares, have left for Hyderabad, where diey 
are engaged in trade (a). 

This entire chapter was completed before the author had seen the elaborate 
account of the religious sects of the Hindus, by the late distinguished Sanskrit 
scholar, Horace Hayman Wilson. It is altogether an independent statement, 
and being mainly concerned with the existing circumstances of the 
religious communities of which it treats, will be found in many points to sup- 
plement the more theoretical dissertation of that eminent man. A few brief 
extracts from Wilson's work have been occasionally added to the text. 


The Dandls are neither a caste nor a tribe of Hindus, but are an order 
of devotees. As they keep themselves very distinct firom the rest of the com- 
munity, they demand a separate notice. Their habits are peculiar. One of 
them has supplied an appellation for the entire class, derived from their habit 
of always carrying a staff in the hand. Hence the name Dandt, from danda a 
stick. They are Brahmans, and receive disciples only from the Brahmans. 

The Dandls do not touch fire, or metal, or vessels made pf any sort of 
metal. It is impossible, therefore, for them to cook their own food like other 
Hindus. It is equally impossible also for them to handle money. They wear 
one long unsewn reddish cloth, thrown about the person. Although they are 
on principle penniless, yet they do not beg. Their dependance on the kindness 
and care of others is thus of the most absolute character. Yet they are not 
reduced to want, or even to distress : they are fed by the Brahmans, and the 
Gosains, another class of devotees, but of lax principles, and not restricted to 
• any one caste. The Dandis do not marry, and have no houses of their own. 
They have literally nothing they can call their own, except a diminutive mat to 
lie upon, a small pillow, the cloth they wear, a stick, and a kamandal, or her- 
mit's pot for holding water. The stick they use at the age of fifty; previously 
to which, they are only disciples, and are not called Dandis. 

(a) Wilson^s Glossaiy, p. 188. 


Not a few of this religious order are learned men, and devote a large portion 
of their time to study and meditation. They are great readers of the Sh^tras, 
such as the Mim&nsa, Ny&ya, Manjiika, and others, and also of the Purd.nas4 
Many Brahmans, even Pandits, or learned Brahmans, come to them for instruc- 
tion, which they impart freely, without the smallest recompense. All classes of 
the community pay them the greatest honour, even to worshipping them. 
They are addressed as Sw&mi Ji, that is. Master, Lord, Spiritual Teacher. 
Although they are said to worship idols, yet they make no obeisance to them. 
They are singularly independent in all their actions, and make no salam or sign 
of respect to any object, human or divine. 


A species of Gosains. Originally they bore a trident as their emblem ; 
hence the name which they assume. This practice, however, has ceased to be 
observed. They are Shaivas, or worshippers of Shiva, and in habits are like 
Gosains. The Tridandls do not marry. Their bodies after death are buried, 
not burnt. 


This class, or order, is of many kinds. Some are prognosticators of 
future events ; others lead about animals of monstrous formation in order to 
excite religious wonder and curiosity ; others have their ears split and wear in 
them a kind of ear-ring for sacred purposes. Persons of all castes can, in 
these latter days, enter the order ; but this was not the rule originally. Jogis 
are not particular on the subject of marriage, and some of them take to them- 
selves wives. At death, their bodies are buried; and their tombs, termed 
Samddh^ are held in sacred estimation, and are often visited by pilgrims for 
idolatrous purposes. 

The term Jogl or Yogi is properly applicable, says Mr. Wilson, " to the fol- 
lowers of the Yoga or PlLtanjala School of Philosophy, which, amongst other 
tenets, maintained the practicability of acquiring, even in life, entire command 
over elementary matter by means of certain ascetic practices '' (a J. 


The Sany&sls, like the Gosains, ascribe their origin to Sankara Achftrya. 
The mantra^ or religious text, and the gayatri^ or daily ceremonial prayer, are 

(a) BeUgioQS Seoti of the Bindiu, Vol. I., p. SH)& 


the same as those used by Gosains* They have similar customs likewise in 
respect to some of their social habits, as, for instance, they will partake of food 
only in the houses of Brahmans and Kshatriyas, and not in the houses of lower 
castes. But Sany^is are never created from young boys, as Gosains for the 
most part are, and always from elderly men. After the Yijaiya Horn has been 
celebrated, they never touch metal of any kind, never ride in carriages of any 
description, never cook food for themselves, and never touch the bodies of per- 
sons except of those connected with their own order. At the ceremony of 
induction, they receive a stick or lakut^ and a kamandal^ or vessel for holding 
water. Should the kamandal be broken by any misadventure, a sanskdr or cere- 
mony is performed like that observed on the death of a man. 

At death, a horrible custom is observed, the origin of which I am unac- 
quainted with. A cocoa-nut is broken on the head of the deceased by a person 
specially appointed for the purpose, until it is smashed to pieces. The body 
is then wrapped in gerua-vastra, or reddish cloth, and is thrown into the Ganges* 


Pure BairS^gl devotees are professedly followers of R^manand, the founder 
of a famous Hindu sect, and his celebrated disciple, E&manuJ. They are 
mostly taken from the Sudra castes. The ceremony of induction is very similar 
to that observed among the Gosains. At death, their bodies are burnt like 
those of other Hindus. Bair&gls are numerous in Benares, and are inordi- 
nate, beggars. They do not marry. 

The word Baird^gi is very commonly applied as a generic term to many 
sects of devotees. 

Sri Vaishnava. 

These are devotees worshipping VishnU in the form of the four-handed 
Lakshminarain, holding the sankha^ shell, the chakra, discus, gada^ club, and a 
lotus-flower, in the four hands. Their tilak on the forehead is in the form 
of a trident. It is likewise borne on the arms, bresCst, and abdomen. They 
are akin to the R4manujis and R&manandis, and are called by the common name 
of Bair&gi. Disciples are taken from the Brahmanical caste. These devotees 
wear clothes of pewar, a kind of yellow colour, have a kanthlj or sacred garland 
around the neck, and also a rosary of tulsi wood. They never touchy or pay 
homage to, Shiva ; nor do they put on rudraksh^ or garland of Eleocarpus berries. 


The Sri Vaishnavas are disciples of Vishnu Sw&mi, one of the four samprad" 
at/as or sects of Vaishnavas among the Bairdgts. These are 1, the 
nandis ; 2, the Nim&nujis ; 3, the Md,dhu Ach&ryas ; and, 4, the Sri Vaishnavas. 
Some add one more, namely, the R&dhS; Vallahhas ; while others substitute it in 
place of the fourth. The tilak^ or mark on the forehead, of the NimSnuj sect, 
is of this form | and is made of sandal-wood or of a red pigment. The tilak of 
the MMhu Acharjas is a black mark extending from the eye-brow up the 
forehead to the hair. These four sects, it is affirmed, have developed and 
separated into fifty^-two divisions or minor sects. 

^ Rddhd Vallabhi. 

A name applied to certain devotees who worship Krishna and his wife 
Rdxih^, and take great interest in all the hlas or sports of Krishna with his 
numerous wives and concubines. Nevertheless, they profess a high degree of 
ceremonial purity, and do not eat fish or flesh, or drink spirits. They worship 
ELrishna very early in the morning, and, in addition, many times in the course of 
the day. The founder of the sect was Vallabha Sw&mi. 

In the worship rendered to Krishna, the god is represented in various forms 
and characters. Each form and character is only sustained for a few minutes, 
and then changed for a new one. They are termed Jhankis. The Rd,dhd.balla- 
bhl devotees are very jealous of the worshippers both of Shiva and of Bi.m. 
They observe, however, most of the ceremonies of the Bair&gts. At death, 
their bodies are burnt. 

The Baniyas, or tradespeople, and mahdjans, or bankers, of Benares, are, 
to a large extent, worshippers of Krishna in one form or another. They worship 
him under such names as GopM, Kanchhaur, Bd,dh, Vallabh, Rd,dh&raman, and 
so forth. They exhibit a tilak on the forehead, of chandan and roll (a) in the 
form of a note of admiration, or in the form of a loop the round portion 
below meeting near the eyebrows. The former iilaJe is always of roft, the latter 
of chandan. 


A sect of devotees who regard Raja Bhart as their founder and head. They 
are reckoned as Jogis, because Raja Bhart, it is asserted, was a disciple of a Jogi. 
They carry a musical instrument in their hands, on which they play, while they 
sing the exploits of Raja Bhart Their abode in Benares is principally at Baori 

(a) A mixture of ricoi tamerie, alam, and add. 


Talao. There are many of the sect in the city. They walk about wearing the 
gerua-vastray or reddish cloth, worn commonly by devotees. At death, they are 


This name is derived from the custom observed by this class of devotees of 
slitting their ears and wearing a small cylindrical object in the incision. The 
Eanphathas eat flesh, drink spirits, and partake of food in houses of all castes. 
They are found only in the temples of Bhairo, yet they use the mantras^ or 
sacred texts, both of Shiva and Bhairo. In the temple of K&l Bhairo in 
Benares are some ten or a dozen members of this oifler. 

The Kanphathas profess to be followers of Gorakhn&th. The slitting of the 
ear is practised during the ceremony of induction. They wear gerua-Vdstra or 
reddish cloth, ' and a head-dress of black ribbons, like the Sutharasains, a sect 
of N&nak-sh&hls. The novitiate is kept closely confined in a house for forty 
days, when he is brought out, and is made a perfect disciple. The Kanphathas 
carry in their hands a han morchhal^ or fan made of peacock's feathers, with 
which they make passes over the credulous, for the purpose of exorcising evil 
spirits with which they may be possessed, and of keeping imps and goblins at 
a distance. 

There are many Eanphathas in Benares, some of whom are very rich. 
They are the priests of K&l Bhairo temple. They are sometimes termed Jogls. 
At death, the Eanphathas are buried in their own houses. 


The Jangam sings the exploits and adventures of the god Shiva. He 
carries with him a little bell, which he rings before commencing his songs . 
There are only a few of this order in Benares ; and they reside in the quarter 
of the city known as Raori Talao. The Jangams commonly do not marry. 
At death, their bodies are either buried or thrown into the Ganges. 


A name applied to a class of devotees who live absolutely separated from 
society and from all family connexions. The word is derived from dik^ a quarter 
of the globe, and ambar^ apparel, and indicates one who has the world or uni- 
verse for his covering. 



" The Jains, " says Professor Wilson, " are divided into two principal divi- 
sions, Digambaras and Soetambaras, the former of which appears to have the 
best pretensions to antiquity. The discriminating difference is implied in these 
terms, the former meaning the sky-clad, that is naked, and the latter the white- 
robed, the teachers being so dressed. All the Dakhini Jains appear to belong 
to the Digambara division. So it is said do the majority of the Jains in 

Western India" (a). 


This sect consists of those Bair^gls only who have wives or concubines, 
and their descendants. These latter, however, may be either married persons, 
or celibates. The Sanjogr&s are found at Assi Ghd.t, at the southern extremity 
of the city. 


A sect of Yaishnavas who devote all their time to the one purpose of keep- 
ing themselves clean. They bathe many times, and wash their hands one hun- 
dred and eight times, daily. While they do not separate themselves from their 
families, they refrain from touching even their children, lest they should be 
defiled. They are very careful not to take the life of any creature. Women as 
well as men may belong to this sect. 


Applied to certain followers of Krishna who pay great attention to personal 
cleanliness, and wash themselves many times in the day, using various purifying 
substances. They live apart from society, and have no disciples. The Sukh- 
pannis are of both sexes ; and their bodies are burnt after death. 


These are not strictly devotees. They marry, drink wine, lead a sensual 
life, and profess to follow the teachings of a B&m&, or woman. 


A kind of Bair&gi, whose ceremonies they observe. They are called Eh&ki, 
or ashy, because they besmear their bodies with ashes. ^' The reputed 
founder," says Wilson, '^ is Ktl, the disciple of Krishnad&s, whom some accounts 
make the disciple of R&manand; but the history of the Kh&kl sect is not 
known, and seems to be of modem origin" (J). 

(a) Religotts Sects of the Hindus, Vol. I«, p. 339. 
\h) lind. Vol. U.y p. 98. 


Baitdll Bhdt. 

A name given to the descendants of Baital, who was a famous Rdj Bhd,t at 

the court of Yikramaditya. Having quarrelled with the Raja, he abandoned 

both him and his creed, and united himself with the Gosains, in whose praise he 

made verses, a practice followed by his descendants. These devotees marry, 

and live like Gosains, on whose bounty they are dependant. They are acquainted 

with a curious kind of alphabet called Baitdll akshar. One of their peculiar 

habits is, that, although they live by charity, yet they refuse to take alms except 

from the Gosains, to whom they act the important part of family registrars and 

genealogists by inserting their pedigrees in books kept for the purpose. This 

sect lives at Lakshmi Eund, in Benares. On the death of one of its members, 

his body is buried. 


These profess the tenets of Sharbhanga, who flourished in the days of 
Rd.m, and is alluded to in the R4md.yana. They are Vaishnavas, or worshippers 
of Vishnu, yet live commonly as Bair&gis. 


A sect of Hindu devotees paying special attention to the qualities of 

female deities. They live like women, flincj wear their dress. They do not 

indulge in marjriage. 


A sect of devotees who live alone, and subsist by begging. They dwell in 



A sect among the Gosains who gain their livelihood by dancing and sing-^ 

ing. They wear the red cloth as devotees, and observe most of the ceremonies 

of the Gosains. They marry. At death, their bodies are either buried or 

thrown into a river. 


These are a sect of Gosains or BairS^gts who eat neither grain, nor vege- 
tables, nor any herbs, and subsist on cow's milk only. The name is derived 
from pay^ the Sanskrit for milk, and ahdr^ food. 


The Shivd,chd.ris come from Coorg, in the Bombay Presidency, and reside 
^t Ji|.ngamb&r( and Kid^r Gh&t in Beoares. They are worshippers Qf Shivai 


!W'eiHT rtidrdkshj or a gairland ihade of berries of the Eleo'carpus^ and Bave a 
small image of the god .Shiva suspended in a box round their neeks^ .which 
thejr do. not puffer any one to to.uch. They besmear their bodies with ashes; 
especially their foreheads. The members, of this, sect ^ are . not . exclusively 
devotees: some of them are married, and reside with their families. They 
live for the most part as Gosains,.'and are treated as such. 

BramhachdrL " ' 

• - • « 

This name is given to a sect of Brahman ascetics. They wear red cloth and 
the rudrdksh^ let their hair and beard grow, and besmear their bodies with 
ashes. They are worshippers of Shiva. The Bramhach&ris live as recluses 
apart from their families, and at death their bodies are burnt. 

Th^ word BramhachM is also applied to a religious student, to persons 
learned in the Vedas, and in various other ways. 


The SewariSs aspire to the character of very holy persons. They let theii* 
beards grow long like the Baird^s, besmear their bodies with ashes, and wear 
gerua-vastra or reddish cloth. They are not particular in eating food with 
Hindus of various castes, or even with Mahonledans, and .are addicted to drink- 
ing spirits. They beg alms from door to door, and do not hesitate, if occasiob 
offers, to rob simpletons, both meii and women, by their tricks. Their religioBt 
appears to be a form of Shaivism. There is reason for supposing the Sewarfis 
to be of Buddhist origin. Some of them are. celibates, but not all. They have 
their disQiplefe like many other devotees, yet not in all ^ cases. When they die, 
Jlieir bodies are.buried in the ground. 

. There is another sect of Sewar&s, called Jatt, x^onnected, it is affirmed, with, 
|he Puddhiste. These^ practise celibacy and pretend to great sanctity. They 
walk about with head and feet bare, holding a red ^tick in the hand. They also 
carry with them a kind of brush made of peacocks' feathers, with which they 
sweep the ground before sitting down, lest they should injure a worm or insect. 
The^e persons da not disclose their tenets to strangers* They make (fisciples 
Jike the Gosains, and live in monasteries. 



There are three/sects of devotees bearing this designation. The ^st cpii; 
fi^t$ of those Gosains, Bairdgtsi and Ud&sis^ Who practise celil^acyi Thp 




•eoond k akin to ihd Jogt devotees. The third professes to be of Buddhist 
origiii, and is also called Sewarft, as described already. The two latter sects 
have their bands of disciples. The second at death are burnt ; but the third 
are either buried or thrown into a river. 


An appellation derived from dkdsh^ the firmament or skj, and mukh^ the 
face, and applied to a sect of devotees whose habit is to raise their faces 
upwards to the sky, and to keep them in that position until the muscles of the 
neck become rigid, and the head becomes fixed in that position. 


These are Bair&gts who keep one or both hands in an erect position for a 
number of years until they become shrivelled, and the finger-nails grow to 
several inches in length, occasionally penetrating through the hand and protruding 
beyond« By this inhuman practice they acquire a character for great sanctity. 

*  • 


Devotees under a vow of sflence, generally for a term of years, of whom 
there are said to be many in the city of Benares. They are regarded as possess* 
sfig extreme sanctiQr, and are even worshipped by other Hindus. 


There is properly no sect of devotees of this name ; but Gosains who lead 
the life of a ndgd^ or naked devotee, are called Abadhdta. The word tneanS 
Hscarded, shaken^ and is applied to this class of people, under the idea that they 
have shaken the world away firom them or separated themselves from it, and 
have no further interest in its afikirs. 


There are no devotees of this appellation/ but th6 name is applied to the 
followers of Sadhan. This Sadhan was a common butcher of Benares about two 
centuries ago, and was a great bhagat, that is, was very fervent in the obser- 
vances of Hinduism. He is reputed to have had only one weight for weighing 
l^S mieat* This was a sacred stone called Sdligrdm. With this he could weigh, 
it is said, tibe smallest as well as the greatest, ihe lightest as well as the heaviest^ 


quantities. He is believed not to have died, but to have ascended living to the 
heavenly regions, like the prophet Elijah. 


Followers of Harischand, a Raja who lived in ancient times, and became 
famQus for his self-denial and devotion. He is said to have abdicated his regal 
iiinctionsi and to have practised asceticism, living like a common devotee. ^^ The 
EEarischandts," says Wilson," are Doms, or sweepers, in the Western Provinces.'' 

A class of Bairdgis, who believe in the unity of God. 


These are disciples of Eftmanuj and M4dhu Achftrya, and worshippers of 
Vishnu and Rftm. Their bodies are marked with the sankha or shell, gada^ or 
club, chakra^ or discus, and the lotus-flower, symbols of Vidinu. These mark? 
are generally made at Dwftrkft ; yet it is customary for a new disciple to rece|iv9 
them wherever he may be initiated, for the sect admits no £nesh member unless 
he has first been marked upon his body with the symbols. The iilak^ or special 
distinctive mark applied to the forehead, is of this form Li J 9 ^he strokes on the 
eides being made with chandan or powdered sandal-wood, the middle stroke 
with roU^ a pigment already described. The B&mftvats are of all castes. 


Ascetic disciples of R&manand, the founder of a Hindu sect. Brahmans 
and Eshatriyas, but no other castes, are permitted to enter this order of 

R&manandls and Rftmanujis differ only ift the tUak^ or saered mark, 
applied to the forehead. Their tenets are the same. 


Disciples of Charan who lived in the days of R&manuj. Their ceremonies 
and habits are similar to those of Yaishnavas, Bair&gls, and Eabirpanthis. 


lliis word is derived from Raidfts, a Cham&r, or leather-seller, fiEuaous i|i 
bis day for religious fervour. He was a disciple of Rfimanuj* The Chaiaftr 


6aste regarding him as a great bhagdt^ or religious person/ claim rielationsliip to 
him, and speak of themselves as Baid&sis, or disciples of Raid&s. The appella- 
tion, therefore, of Raid&spanthl rather designates a sect than a class of devotees. 


Disciples of Eabtr, who founded a seet, of which many members are met with 
in Benares, and in other parts of the North Western Provinces. Their chief 
place in Benares is at Kabir-Chaura. They eschew marriage. Disciples from 
all castes are admitted into the fraternity. At death, their bodies are burnt, not 
buried. Eabir was the most famous of the twelve disciples of B&manand^ 


The Dd^dupanthls are disciples of Eabtr, the founder of a Hindu sect,* and 
therefore are properly Eablrpanthts ; but they derive their origin from Dddu, a 
follower of Eablr, and a founder of a sect. These people are distinguished 
personally by their pointed cap and flowing robe. They live much like Bair&^ 
gis, and do not marry* 


.... ^ , 

The Uddjst devotees profess the tenets of N&nak Sh&h, and are, among 
Sikhs, similar to Sany&sis^ among Hindus. They reside in monasteries, and 
eat what is cooked by other persons. They worship the Granth or sacred 
book of Nftnak Shfth. 

The Ud&sls are derived from all castes. The ceremoiiy of disciplefihip is 
similar to that existing among Gosains. Instead of Uiddu^ they distribute a 
sweetmeat, called haliui^ at the creation of a new Udftsl. The members of this 
^ct will eat food in the houses of Hindus of all castes. Like Bairftgls and 
Gosains, they have five akhdras or places of assembly in Benares, kpowh aa, 
Niranjani, Nirbftni, GAdar, SAkhar, and Riikhar. Like them also, some of their 
number are termed Nd.g& (from nanga, naked,) because they go naked. 


These are also followers of N&nak Shfth. They difier from Ud&sls in that 
the latter live in a peculiar ascetic manner not practised by the N&nak-Sh&his. 
The menibers of this religious order, on becoming devotees,' do not' marry ; 
Ihey We^ the ,g^erwa«t?(w/fa, or red .cloth. They have no Ndgds^. or naked 


tu9C6tic8, like the TTddsis, and will pariake of food in tEe houses of rail Hindusv* 
.They do not worship idols, but the Granth or sacred book of Nftnak; 

Kukapanthi. \' . 

Like the N4nak Sh&hls, only more rigid. They wear a peculiar uniform. 
The term is derived from the loud tone in which they utter their mantra^ or 
sacred text, compared to the kuk or loud note of the kaku or kokila. The 
X^kapanthls intensely detest all other sects. 

• • - • 


These are Sikh devotees, who wear a blue turban on their heads girdled 
with an iron circlet. Occasionally they decorate their heads with . several of 
such circlets. In their hands they carry a small rod. The Akd^Its are rigid 

followers of N&nak. 


/ • • -  . 


A name given to a class of devotees who are the disciples of N&nak. They 
beg alms, going from house to house, singing the exploits of some famous Hindu 
chief, and striking together a couple of cylinders which they carry in their 
hands. Their heads are covered with a turban made of black ribands. The 
Suthras do not marry. They are found in the monastery of N&gar Sen, a 
famous Suthra, in a district of Benares known as Aurangab&d, where they have 
a company of disciples. Their bodies at death are either buried or burnt. 


This is the name of a flagrantly indecent and abominable set of beggars^ 
who have rendered themselves notorious for the disgusting vileness of their 
habits. Prowling about in the pursuit of their miserable calling, which, however, 
is one of the most successful in India, they will take no denial. In case of 
the refusal of alms they wiU besmear themselves with filth, and eat the most 
loathsome garbage, in the presence of the persons who withhold their money 
from them. They are a pest to native society. 

The Aghoris deduce their origin from Kin& Bftm and E&lu Rftm (the guru 
or spiritual guide of Kind. R&m), who are supposed to have lived in Benares 
about one hundred years ago. Hindus of all castes may enter the order. On 
induction their bodies are first shaved, and they are sent to Asht-bhuja, the 


shrine of a famous goddess six miles from Mirisapilr, where they praetiee 
incantations until they imagine they have acquired the power of the goddess 
Aghor-mukhi, whom they worship, and whose tenets they observe. 

The Aghorts eat all kinds of food, including the carcases of jackals, cats, 
and other animals, which die of themselves. 


This is another class of beggars as notorious and as much feared and shun- 
ned as the Aghoris. On presenting themselves before a house, and asking for 
aid, should their importunity not be attended to, they begin to cut themselves 
about the head and body, inflicting deep gashes and stabs : this they continue, 
until, in sheer horror and consternation, the family thus addressed gives him 
everything he demands. 


A class of devotees who adopt the mantra^ or sacred text, of the female 
deity Kd.ll. They are somewhat similar in their habits to the Aghoris, but not 
BO shameless and abominable. They eat flesh and drink spirits ; but refrain 
from eating dead carcases. 







A TBiBB of bards more distinguislied in ancient than in modem times. Por- 
merly, they cultivated the art of making poetry on the spur of the moment, at 
maxriage festivals and on other great occasions. Either the stimulus has been 
wantii^g, or the spirit of poetry has diminished in the tribe, for they rarely now- 
a-days exhibit any pretension to such a gift. Still, they are in considerable 
rec{[uest for the exercise of theii^ talents and skill in the recitation of poetry* AU 
families of respectability send for them on days of special importance and inter- 
est to themselves, when, in the presence of all assembled, they give in pompouA 
language a genealogical history of the families that have summoned them, or 
repeat the chronicles of the neighbourhood, or unfold the historical records of 
some great and well-known house, or recite passages from the BftmftyanB^ ]kCflhA« 
bhftrata, or oth^ national poems. 

The Bhftt is also called Dasaundhi and Bh&rata. Although he contiaues 
A distinct tribe, yet his profession as a bard and chronicler is shared by Maho- 
medand. Not a few of the tribe occupy a respectable position in native society^ 
The women of the Mahomedan Bh&ts, on certain occasions, sing in public, : but 
they and the wives of the Eathaks are the only women of reputation Who do 
M. The wives and daughters of Hindu Bh&ts, however, do not sing in publio. 

The Bhftts are said to be divided into three branches, as follows ; 

1. Birm-Bh&t, also called Brahma-Bh&t 

2. J&ga-Bh&t. 

Z. Ghaian-Bh&t / 


Sir Henry Elliot has some interesting observations on the distinction 
between the Bhftts and the Jkgss. ^^ By some tribes," he says, ^^ the Bh&t and 
Jdga are considered synonymous ; but those who pretend to greater accuracy 
distinguish them by calling the former Birm-Bh&t or Badl, and tiie latter Jftga- 
Bhftt. The former recite the deeds of ancestors at weddings and other festive 
occasions : the latter keep the family records, particularly of Biajpoots, and are 
entitled by right of succession to retain the ofEce ; whereas, the Birm-Bh&ts are 
hired and paid for the particular occasion. J&ga-Bh&ts pay visits to their con- 
stituents every two or three years, and receive the perquisites to which they are 
entitied. After recording all the births which have taken place since their last 
tomr^ they are remunerated with rupees, cattle, or clotiies, according to the 
ability of the registering party. * Those of the North- Western Rajpoots 
generally reside between the borders of Rajpootana and the Dehli territory.' 
Many also live at D&ranagar on the Ganges, and travel to the remote East in 
order Vb tdHect their fees* Whereas, the Birm-Bh&ts are resident in towns and 
kashas, and do not emigrate periodically" (a). Wilson states that, in the.West^ 
of India, the Bh&t is identified with the Gharan, and ^^ his personal security is 
held sufficient for the payment of a debt, or fulfilment of an engagement ;" but 
that, should it not be performed, the Bh&t, or some one of his family^ destroys 
himself, the guilty party, however, being held responsible for the same (b)^ 
The Charan-Bhftts are peculiar to Rajpootana, where they have ^ long retained 
their character as the surest guarantees of agreements of independent chiefs or 
J^rivate individuals.' 

• In Bajpootana, the Gharans and other Bh&ts exercise a vast influence over 
the people. They rank, says Malcolm, . ^^ as the genealogists of proud and 
ignorant chiefs ; and favoured individuals oftjen combine with that office the 
(Station of counsellors, and establish an ascendancy over the minds of* their 
superior, which is stronger from . being grounded upon a mysterious feeling of 
awe. It is to them that the proudest Rajpoot looks for solace in adversity, and 
fw increased joy and exultation in prosperity" (c). 

( •> The Bh&ts are notorious for their rapacity as beggars, and are much dreaded 
by iheir employers on account of the power they have of distorting fan^ilj 
history at: public recitations, if they choose to do so, and of subjecting any 

member to general ridicule. This tribe is said to have sprung from the union 


(a) Elliot*8 Supplemental (Glossary, Vol L, p. 18. 

(b) Wilaon*8 Olonary, p. 79. 

(c) Sir John Malcolm*! Central lndia» Vol..!., pp. ];81, IS% 


of a Eshatriya with a Vaisya woman ; but another account is, that its common 
ancestors were a Kshatriya father and a Brahman widow (a) ; while, by a third 
tradition, the Bh&ts are said to be the progeny of a Brahman father and a Sudra 
mother. It is evident, therefore, that no reliance can be placed on tradition at 
at all in the matter. Elliot gives the following sub-divisions of the tribe, namely, 
Atsela, Mahftpfttr, Kailea, Mainp6rlwai&, Jangira, Bhatara, and Dasaundht. To 
these, he adds, SlkatpArea, Nagauri, Chaur^si, Gajbhim, Chftngele, Gftjriwaifi, 
and Baru& (b). The Dasaundhls or Dasaundhans are in the lower Do&b and to 
the east of Oudh. 

The tribe is known in many parts of the country. In the Moradab&d dis- 
trict they have existed at Bil&rl, Amroha, and Hassanpftr from time immemorial. 
They are well known in Mathurfi,, where they wear the sacred cord; but this 
custom, I believe, is also practised by the tribe elsewhere. 


The Kathaks are professional musicians. They are *to the manner born ' 
and form a distinct tribe and caste. The gift or inspiration of music is here- 
ditary in this tribe, just as that of catching birds is hereditary among the 
Baheliyas, or that of buying and selling among the Agarw&l&s. The Kathaks, 
however, are only one of several tribes of Hindus devoted to music, dancing 
and singing ; and must not by any means be confounded with the Khatiks, 
who are poulterers. They aflfect to be of high caste, equal in fact to the Raj- 
poots, and nearly equal to the Brahmans ; and wear ihejaneo^ or sacred cord 
which none but men of good caste are allowed to wear. Further west the 
Kathaks do not make a salum in saluting any one, as natives of India commonly 
do, but give their dshlrbdd^ or blessing, like the Brahmans. Their women are 
not usually seen in public, but live in the retirement of the zenana, an addi- 
tional testimony to the respectability of the tribe. An exception to this rule 
however, is permitted at marriages, at which women of the tribe, as well as men 
are present. The former play on two kinds of instruments, one called a dhol 
or small drum, the other called majira, consisting of two metallic cups, which 
are used for keeping time by being struck together, and so producing a sharp 
jingling sound- The latter play on various instruments, and also sing and 
dance. They do not suffer their wives to appear on kny other occasions • yet 

(a) Sir John MaIcolm*s Central India, Vol. I., p. 78. 
(h) £lliot*8 Supplemental Gloasary, Vol. I^ p. 19. 




women commonly accompany them to all musical festivals. Such women, who 
belong to many castes, come to the Kathaks' houses for instruction in the art 
of singing and dancing. They are always and everywhere women of loose 
character. In India all professional singing and dancing, when performed by 
women, with very few exceptions, is performed by prostitutes. Indeed, a pros- 
titute and a professional dancer or singer are, in the common speech of the 
people, correlative terms. The Kathaks receive one-half of the earnings of 
these women, in payment for the instruction they have given. They are very 
frequently hired together, the Kathaks to play on instruments, the women to 
dance and sing. ^ 

The customs of Hindus are peculiar in regard to music and dancing. While 
it is common for men to perform on instruments, and that too in great variety, 
women do so comparatively to a very small extent, and only use a few and, for 
the most part, simple instruments. Singing is practised by both sexes, but 
chiefly by the gentler sex. Women at work in the fields, or going to their 
homes when their work is done, sing plaintive strains of a very pleasing charac- 
ter, frequently with a refrain, in which a part only join at a time. But as to 
dancing, it is eschewed by every decent and honourable woman, and a woman 
would instantly lose her character were she once to indulge in it. It is on this 
account that Hindus have been unable to comprehend the propriety of English 
ladies amusing themselves in this manner ; yet many, however, at last, are 
beginning to understand it. 

Rdmjand^ or Rdmjant. 

This is another Hindu tribe of professional musicians. They wear the 
sacred cord, and call themselves Kshatriyas ; but in social position there is a 
great difference between them and the Kathaks. This arises from the fact that, 
except at marriage festivals, the latter keep their wives and daughters rigidly 
secluded in the zenana, whereas the R&mjan&s, on the contrary, are commonly 
accompanied by their wives wherever they go. They also, like the Kathaks, give 
instruction in singing and dancing to women intending to be professional perfor- 
mers. The caste is devoted to prostitution. The female children bom in the caste 
are brought up to immorality and vice ; the sons, however, are trained as musi- 
cians, and sometimes engage in trade or other occupations, and have a chance, 
therefore, which their sisters never have, of leading an honorable life. The Rdm- 
jant is a distinct and acknowledged caste, yet it differs from others in admitting 
women from various castes into the order. 



A class of Mahomedan players. Both men and women perform on musical 
instruments, or sing, or dance, wherever they can obtain employment. When 
they have no engagements they wander about the xjountry visiting villages and 
towns, or perfprming in private houses, and in this manner earn a livelihood. 


These are Mahomedan performers, but are much higher in rank than the 
DhS^rhis ; are regarded, indeed, as persons of reputation and respectability. 


This is a class of Mahomedkns, who teach girls singing and dancing. The 
women not only sing and dance, but are also employed as jesters in the presence 
of native ladies, in zenanas, or female apartments, of large houses. The men 
are said to be highly respected by Mahomedans, though for what especial reason 
I have been unable to learn. 


These are natch girls, or dancing women. They form a very numerous class 
in aU towns and cities in India. They are not a distinct caste, but are more or 
less attached to all the castes. Although notoriously immoral, yet they are 
sent for by all classes of the community, even the most respectable and virtuous, 
on occasion of a great family festivity. So necessary, in a social point of view, 
is the presence of these and other professional singers and performers at a 
marriage, or at the birth of a son, or when any other important event occurs, 
that a man of wealth and station would suffer in reputation, and would be 
held as slighting his friends, and even his caste, did he not employ them. 

The Gaunhftrins not only dance and sing, but also play on the S&ringt and 
Tabid.. The Sd^ringt is, in appearance, somewhat like a violin, and is played 
with a bow ; the Tabl& is a small drum with only one opening, which is covered 
with a thin skin, the part opposite to this being round, and made of wood. The 
drum rests upon the ground, the covered opening being uppermost, and is 
struck rapidly and sharply by the fingers. Sometimes two such drums are 
played by the right and left hands together. The dancing of these women is, 
for the most part, very quiet ; indeed, when compared with many who are 
addicted to this amusement, it may be considered tame and lifeless. Their sing- 
ing is mostiy plaintive, but they seldom give the full tension to their voices, or 
allow them to ring out clearly and satisfactorily, on account of their foolish 


and inveterate habit of chewing pawn, which, strange to say, many of them do 
not altogether desist from even at the time and in the act of singing. 

Bhdnd or Bhdnr. 

This is the name given to mimics, buffoons, and jesters. Formerly, 

Hindus as well as Mussalmans devoted themselves to this calling, but the 

former have, for the most part, retired from it. They are present at all joyous 

festivals, such as a marriage, or the birth of a son, and contribute their jokes 

just as the Gaunh&rins contribute their dancing and song. 

Respecting the Bhslnds of Oudh, Mr. P. Carnegy says that they are divided into 

seven or more clans. ^' The Bhftnd/' he remarks, ^^ is a genealogist and bard. 

The Birm-Bhd.nd, or Bodi, recites the deeds of ancestors at occasional festive 

gatherings. The Joga-Bh&nd periodically records all domestic events among 

the Rajpoot families" (a). But he seems to confound the Bh&nds with the 



A class of dancers at public festivals. They are found in the districts east 

of Oudh (6). 


A dissolute and disorderly caste. They wander about in the company of 
dancing women, and are notorious thieves and scoundrels. They form but a 
small community, yet are found in many of the districts of these Provinces (c). 
There are several hundred families in Cawnpftr. The caste is also styled Bedia. 

A caste consisting of loose people who pass their time in buffoonery, singing 
and dancing. They are found in Agra, Etawah, CawnpAr, and as far east as 
Ghazipiir, where they number more than a hundred families. 

The Bahurftpiyas are a class of people found in small numbers in many 
places of these provinces. They assume a multitude of disguises, in the 
characters both of men and women, and attend public and private festivals in 
the train of mimics, musicians, dancers, and others. They are taken from 
all classes of native society, and are neither connected with the Bb&nds nor 

(a) Mr. P. Carnegy^s Races of Oudh, p. 83. 

{h) Mr. E. A. Reade 8 Inferior Castes of the North- Western Provinces, p. 44. 

(c) idtti,p. 37. 





This Hindu tribe is an ethnological puzzle. In some respects, they resem- 
ble the great Kshatriya or Rajpoot race ; in others, they differ from it. Instead 
of being addicted to government, and delighting in war, they are exclusively 
devoted to trade ; and, consequently, are naturally placed among the commercial 
classes. Judged by their own traditions and social habits, they are as high in 
rank as Rajpoots. Indeed, in Benares they lay claim to 'a closer observance of 
the ancient customs of Rajpoots than that which is practised by modern 
Rajpoot tribes. This claim, as stated to me by a native gentleman of the 
Khatrl tribe, of high respectability in Benares, is as follows. 

The sacred cord is worn by Kshatriyas and Khatrts as well as by Brah- 
mans ; but while formerly Kshatriya boys were invested with it at the age of 
eight, like Brahman boys, they are not invested with it now until their marriage ; 
yet Khatrts have preserved the old custom, and their male children receive the 
cord on reaching eight years of age. Moreover, Khatri boys at the same age 
begin to study the Vedas, to repeat the gayatH^ or sacred text, spoken by all 
Brahmans at their daily devotions, and to perform other religious duties. Not 
so the Kshatriyas, who do not study the Vedas at all nor repeat the gayatri^ 
and who commence their religious exercises at no fixed age. Again, in ancient 
times, as is stated in the Mah&bhS,rata and other Hindu writings, Brahmans 
would eat food {kachha khdnd) cooked by Kshatriyas ; but they will not do 
so now, yet they have no objection to partake of such food when cooked by 
Khatrts. In regard to the family priest also, formerly he was of the same 
gotra or general order as the Kshatriya, in whose house he dwelt ; but this is 
not the custom now, yet it is so in the case of the Khatrt family. 


The Khatrls came originally from the Fanjab, where, it seems, no difference 
appears in the pronunciation of the two names Khatrl and Eshatriya. 
Mr. George Campbell gives his opinion on the claim of the Khatrts to be the 
descendants of the old Eshatriyas : ^ I am inclined/ he says, ^ to think that 
they really have the best claim to that honour/ ^ The old Sanskrit books/ he 
adds, ^ make the Brahmans and Eshatriyas to have remotely sprung from a 
common origin. May it not be that in early Aryan days the Brahmans of 
Kashmere may first have become literary and civilized, and ruled on the Saras- 
watt by peaceful arts, after the fashion of the earliest Egyptians before the art 
of war was invented ; and that later a cognate tribe of Khatrts, of the Cabul 
country, rougher and more warlike, may have come down upon them like the 
shepherd kings, and assumed the rule of the military caste of early Hindu 
history?' (a). 

When a marriage takes place among Khatrts, it is performed quietly, 
without dancing, singing, and the noise and tumult customary among most other 
castes. On occasion of a banquet given by a Khatrt, there is a stringent rule 
that only those persons are to be present who have been invited. Other castes 
are very lax on this point, for when a feast is prepared by any of them, not 
only the invited guests are present, but also many of their friends and relations. 

The account of this tribe furnished by Mr. Campbell, in his ^ Ethnology of 
India,* is, in my judgment, one of the most useful portions of that work. The 
following extract is too important to be curtailed. ^' Trade," he says, ^^is their 
main occupation ; but in fact they have broader and more distinguishing 
features. Besides monopolising the trade of the Panjab and the greater pact 
of Afghanistan, and doing a good deal beyond those limits, they ace in the 
Panjab the chief civil administrators, and have almost all literate work in their 
hands. So far as the Sikhs have a priesthood, they are, moreover, the priests 
or gurw of the Sikhs. Both N4uak and Govind were, and the Sodts and Bedls 
of the present day are, Khatrts. Thus, then, they are in fact in the Panjab, 
so far as a more energetic race will pernut them, all that Mahratta Brahmans 
are in the Mahratta country, besides engrossing the trade which the Mahratta 
Brahmans have not. They are not usually military in their character, but are 
quite capable of using the sword when necessary. Dewan Sawan MuU, 
Governor of Mooltan, and his notorious successor MftlrSj, and very many of 
Runjeet Singh's chief functionaries, were Khatris. Even, under Mahomedan 

(a) Ethnology of India, pp. 1 1 S, 1 13. 


rulers in the west, they have risen to high administrative posts. There is a 
record of a Ehatri Dewan of Badakshan or Eftnddz ; and, I believe, of a Ehatrt 
Governor of Peshawar under the Afghans. The emperor Akbar's famous 
minister, Todar Mull, was a Ehatrt ; and a relative of that man of undoubted 

energy, the great Commissioner Contractor of Agra, Jotee Parshad, lately 


informed me that he also is a Ehatrt. Altogether, there can be no doubt that 
these Ehatrls are one of the most acute, energetic, and remarkable races in 
India, though in fact, except locally in the Panjab, they are not much known 
to Europeans. The Ehatrts are staunch Hindus ; and it is somewhat singular 
that, while giving a religion and priests to the Sikhs, they themselves are 
comparatively seldom Sikhs. The Ehatrts are a very fine, fair, handsome race. 
And, as may be gathered from what I have already said, they are very 
generally educated. 

^^ There is a large subordinate class of Ehatris, somewhat lower, but of 
equal mercantile energy, called Rors, or Roras. The proper Ehatrts of higher 
grade will often deny all connexion with them, or at least only admit that they 
have some sort of bastard kindred with Ehatrts ; but I think there can be no 
doubt that they are ethnologically the same, and they are certainly mixed up 
with Ehatrts in their avocations. I shall treat the whole kindred as generically 

^^ Speaking of the Ehatrts, then, thus broadly, they have, as I have said, 
the whole trade of the Panjab and of most of Afghanistan. No village can 
get on without the Ehatrt who keeps the accounts, does the banking business, 
and buys and sells the grain. They seem, too, to get on with the people better 
than most traders and usurers of this kind. In Afghanistan, among a rough 
and alien people, the Ehatrts are, as a rule, confined to the position of humble 
dealers, shop-keepers, and money-lenders ; but in that capacity the Pathans seem 
to look at them as a kind of valuable animal ; and a Pathan will steal another 
man's Ehatrt, not only for the sake of ransom, as is frequently done on the 
Peshawar and Hazftrah frontier, but also as he might steal a milch-cow, or as 
Jews might, I dare say, be carried off^ in the Middle Ages with a view to render 
them profitable. 

" I do not know the exact limits of Ehatri occupation to the west, but 
certainly in all eastern Afghanistan they seem to be just as much a part of the 
established community as they are in the Panjab. They find their way far into 
Central Asia, but the farther they get the more depressed and humiliating is 
their position. In Turkistan, Vambery speaks of them with great contempt, as 


yellow-faced Hindus of a cowardly and sneaking character. Under Turcoman 
rule they could hardly be otherwise. They are the only Hindus known in 
Central Asia. In the Panjab they are so numerous that they cannot all be rich 
and mercantile ; and many of them hold land, cultivate, take service, and follow 
various avocations. 

^^ The Khatris are altogether excluded from Brahman Kashmere. In the hills, 
however, the ^ Eakkas,' on the east bank of the Jhelum, are said to have been 
originally Khatris (they are a curiously handsome race) ; and in the interior of 
the Eangra hills there is an interesting race of fine patriarchal-looking shepherds 
called ^ Gaddis,' most of whom are Khatrts. Ehatri traders are numerous in Dehli ; 
are found in Agra, Lucknow, and Patna ; and are well known in the Bar& Bazar 
of Calcutta, though there they are principally connected with Panjab firms. 

^^ The Khatris do not seem, as a rule, to reach the western coast : in the 
Bombay market, I cannot find that they have any considerable place. In 
Scinde, however, I find in Captain Burton's book an acount of a race of pretended 
Kshatriyas who are really Banians of the N&nak-Sh4hi (Sikh) faith,' and who 
trade, and have a large share of public ofiSces. These are evidently Khatrts. 
Loodianah is a large and thriving town of mercantile Khatris, with a numerous 
colony of Kashmeree sha wl- weavers " (a). 

The Khatris are divided into two great branches : 

I. Purbiya, or eastern Khatris. 

II. Pachhainya, or western Khatrts. 

The Purbiyas are said to have come long ago from the Panjab, and to have 
settled in the eastern provinces of India. They have gradually forgotten the 
names of the towns and villages of the Panjab whence they originally emigrated, 
as well also the families from which they sprang. This is not the case, how- 
ever, with the Pachhainyas. 

The Pachhainyas of Benares are sub-divided into six sub-tribes, each of 
which embraces a number of clans. 

Pachhainya KhatrIs op Benarbs. 
First sub-tribe — Arhai Qhar, or Chauz4tt. 

Four Clans. 

Clan. Gotra. 

3. Eapiir. KaunsiL 

4. Mehra. Eaunsil. 

Clan. Gotra. 

1. Khanna. Kaunsil. 

2. Set Yatoa. 

(a) Mr. Geozge Campbell*B ethnology of India, pp. 108*112. 


This sub-tribes tands at the head of the Pachhaiiiya SLhatris. They are 
particular on the subject of marriage, and will not give their daughters in mar- 
riage to any of the remaining sub-tribes. They will, however, marry their 
sons into the fiEunilies of the four next sub-tribes, although th^y will not 
permit Chhaz&tt men to intermarry with Chauz&tt women. 

This sub-tribe apparently originaUy consisted of Arhai Ghar, or two-and-a- 
half families ; which were subsequently increased to four, thence designated 
ChauzS^ii, or four castes. 

Many of the Eap^ clan, it is said, have become Mahomedans. 

Second Sub-tribe — Chhaz&tt. 
Six clans. 

1. Bahel. 

2. Dhanwan. 

3. Beri. 

4. Vij. 

5. Saigal. 

6. Chopra. 

TTiird Sttb-tribe — ^Panjz&ti. 
Fourth 5!Mi-<riAtf— Bahrt. 
Twelve Clans. 

1. Upal. 

2. DugaL 

3. PurL 

4. Eochar. 

5. Nande. 

6. Hahpe. 

7« Hfinde. 

8. Bhalle. 

9. Mangal. 

10. Badahre. 

11. SowfttL 

12. Eolhar. 

All these dans intermarry. They also marry their daughters into the 
three preceding sub-tribes ; but cannot receive their women in marriage* 

Fifth Sub'tHbe—BiiWSiak}6bl 

FiMT-Two Clans. 

All these clans intermarry. The Bahrt dans will receiye their women 
in marriage ; but will not give their own in return. 



Sixtk Sub'iribe—Knkikn. 

L Eohalt. 

2. Anad. 

8. Bhastrn. 

4. Chlbidhft. 

5. SabrwaL 

6. SAil 

7. SahanL 

8. GheL 

9. Sethi. 

These nine clans intermarry. The Eukrftns l^eep themselves distinct from 
the other sub-tribes, and do not intermarry with any of them. 

Bai Sankta Prasad, the native gentleman of Benares through whom I have 
obtained most of the information respecting the Ehatiis of that city, belongs to 
the S&ham clan of the Eukr&n sub-tribe of Pachhainya Khatris. He speaks 
English, takes interest in the education and well-being of the people, and is one 
of the disciples of Hindu progress, of whom, happily, many are now-a-days to 
be found in Benares and other Indian cities, and whose number is yearly increasing. 

There is a clan of Khatris in the Bareilly district, bearing the name of 
Bara-ghar, which, according to tradition, was established in the time of Aurung- 
zebe. It is said, that, during the Ajmere campaign, a large number of Khatrts 
were killed. On this being reported to the emperor, he called a meeting of 
Khatrts, with the object of prevailing upon them to give husbands to the widows. 
Some of them consenting, a new clan was formed called Bara-ghar (great house 
or family) ; while those dissenting were called Ch&r-ghar (four families) ; and 
those who induced the emperor to abandon his purpose, were called Adhi-ghar 
(half a family) (a). Whether there is any truth in this tradition, I am unable 

to say. 

In Behar, says Dr. Buchanan^ one half of the Khatris are goldsmiths. 

In the Province of Oudh^ Raja Bihl^rl LS.1 of Mori wan is a Khatrl, as are 
likewise three other Taluqdftrs. The Baja's family has been in the Province 
about one hundred and fifty years (6). 

This tribe settled in Etawah about four hundred years ago. Some came 
from Jalaun, at the head of whom was the famous Mota Mull, who erected a 
splendid house for himself, the ruins of which are still visible. " He built the 
old ^ Bisranth,' and bathing gbftts of the Jumna's banks ; and left a name for 
munificence and pious works unsurpassed in our annals.'' The origin of the 

(a) Report of the Censos of the Nbrtili- Western Fioviiioes, finr 1865, Yd I., Appendix B^ p. 89. 
(Jb) Mr. P. Camegy's Races of Oadh^ p. 09* 


others is not known. They became wealthy bankers, whose fame extended &r 
and wide. The present £tawah bankers are descended from them {a). 


This Vaisya clan professes to be connected with the Ehatri tribe, on the 
ground of the great similarity in the customs of the two tribes. I am not 
aware, however, that any close social intercourse, such as intermarriage, and 
partaking of cooked food together (a very important matter among Hindus), 
subsists between them. The Khatiis do not include the Roras in their own 
tribe ; and therefore, practically, they are distinct from one another. In Benares 
the Roras are mostly brokers, yet in other places they are tradesmen. They 
have three divisions, as follows : 

1. Khatrl. 

2. Lahori. 
8. Bora. 

The third of these divisions, the Rora, is considered to be of purer lineage 
than the other two. 

Purwdl or Purwdr. 

This is not so numerous as some other Vaisya clans. It numbers upwards 
of twelve thousand persons in Mainpiirt. There are some families in Benares ; 
and even as far south as Lallatp^ a considerable number of Furwdls are to be 


The term Purw&l is said to be derived from puH^ a sacred place. The Pur- 
w&ls live in large houses in Benares, and are persons of consequence. Their 
number, however, is small. 

The caste is divided into twenty branches. Its members are partly Yaish* 
navas, and partly Jaims. They are engaged in trade. 


This clan came originally from Palli, in Marwftr. It is said, though with 
what truth I am unable to afiGurm, that the Palllw&ls are not pure Yaisyas, and 

(a) Mr. A. 0. Home's Memorandum on Castes, Ceosns Report, Vol. IL, App. B., p. 87. 


I ^A A I 


that they have BirMjar blood in tiieir rdma. They migrated eastward in the 
age of Alla-ud-dln Gfaoft Families of them have settled in sereral /Mv^onnaA^ 
of die Agra district. The caste is also foond at HamtrpOr. S<Hne of its mem- 
bers are adherents of tbe Jain religion* 


The Kanonjiya Brahmans have placed this dan among the Kayasths, 
thongh with no sufficient reason. The ground of their doing so evidently is 
that they eat meat, drink spirits, and engage in trade. They are in fiict Baniyas 
or traders. Yet their habits are not nnlike those of the Kayasths. 

The caste is said to have twenty sub-diyisions, all which are engaged in 


A class of tradespeople^ found in various parts of the North- Western Pro- 
vinces. In Benares they may number about one hundred families. They form 
a distinct caste. The tribe originally came from the west It is sometimes 
called Niftr ; but this is evidently a corruption or shortening of Bauniftr. 

The caste is very numerous in Gorakhpftr, and is in considerable force also 
in Mirzapdr. 

X } 




This is by far the most important family of the Vaisya Tribes throughout 
a large portion of Northern, North- Western, and Central India. Proud of their 
wealth and distinction, they affect to speak of themselves as the only true Vai- 
syas ; and some pandits are weak enough to support their pretensions. They 
have a tradition, which the Chaudhri, or headman of the clan in Benares, com- 
municated to me, that they came originally from the banks of the Gk>daYery, 
and that their common ancestor was Dhan Pdl. This man had a daughter 
named Muktft, who married one Y&gyavalkya, by whom she had eight sons : 
Siv&, Aniia, NUm, Nand&, Kunda, Ballobhft, Sekhftrft, and KumM. The 
descendants of these men became scattered over the country, even as &r as 
Gujer&t ; and gradually forsaking the customs of their caste mingled with the 
Sudras. One only remained faithful. Agar Sen, or, as he is otherwise called, Agar 
N&th, or simply Agar ; from whom all Agarw&l&s have sprung (a). The only 
value of this family tradition is, that it points to the ancestors of this caste 
previous to the birth of its acknowledged founder. Agar Sen. 

This patriarch lived with his wife Madharft at Agroha, now a small town 
on the confines of Hariftna. Here the family prospered, became wealthy, and 
powerful. During the struggle between the Buddhists and Hindus, thousands 
of Agarw&l&s are said to have been killed, and many more, to save themselves, 
apostatized to Buddhism. After the great war when, the Agarwdl& annals 
aflSrm, the prolonged contest between these two religious sects terminated in 
favour of the Hindu faith, the condition of the Agarw&lfts, who had been 
meanwhile scattered about the country, was much improved, so that they 
became once more opulent and flourishing (b). This statement is somewhat 

(a) M. S. on the Agarw&UU, by Ba]ba Haris Chandra, Chaudhri, or head-man, of the dan in Benareai 
(Jb) Ibid, This tradition respecting the wars between the Buddhists and Hindus is exceedingly impcAtant 
as well as interesting. 



opposed to the account given by Sir Henry Elliot, in his Supplemental Glos- 
sary, that the Agarw&IS^s emigrated from Agroha to all parts of India, " after 
the capture of that place by Shah&b-ud-dln Ghorl (a)." It is, however, so 
far corroborated by the traditions of the tribe in Benares, that it is indisputable 
that a heavy blow was inflicted by this monarch on their ancestors in Agroha, 
which caused the dispersion here alluded to. Yet, as already stated, many 
had left Agroha, and located themselves in various parts of the country, long 
before this. The Agarw&lS.s speak of this conflict with the Mahomedans as 
peculiarly disastrous to their tribe, not only in destroying their integral character, 
and in separating them into numerous sub-divisions, but also in the great 
slaughter which the enemy effected, on account of which multitudes of women 
immolated themselves as Suttees on the funeral pile of their husbands (5). 
The Agarw&llls of Chun&r and Md.rwdjr date their arrival in these places from 
this period. They are now among the most distinguished of the tribe. 

Throughout the whole of the earlier epoch of Mahomedan rule in India 
the AgarwSUs were in a very depressed condition, forming in fact a perfect 
contrast to their condition under British rule. It is not easy to account for this, 
unless it be that the Mahomedans, proud of their military prowess, and of their 
capacity to govern, looked with contempt on a class devoted exclusively to 
trade. With the accession of the Mogul emperors, however, the circumstances 
of the tribe began to improve, and gradually the Agarw&ld.s made their way to 
posts of honour. 

Agar Sen, the Agroha ancestor of the tribe, is said to have had seventeen 
sons, from whom the seventeen gotras, sects or clans, of the Agarw&las, are 
descended (c). These are as follows : 



Qotras or Clans of Agarwdlds (d). 

5. Easila. 

6. Sinhala. 

7. Mangala. 

8. Bh&dala. 

(a) Elliot's Sapplementil GloMuy, Yol. I^ p. 2. 

(ft) M. S. on the AganvftUb, by Babu Haris Chandra. 

(c) Ibid. Also Elphinstone's Histoiy of India, Vol. 11., p. 241. 

(d) Ibid. 

9. Tingala. 

10. Erana. 

11. TAyaL 

12. Terana. 

13. Thingala* 


14. Tittila, 
16. Nital. 

1 6. TuDdala. 

17. Goila and Goba. 
17|^. Bindala. 

The last, or Bindala, is only half a clan, but is always reckoned in Benares 
as supernumerary to the seventeen. These are not all found in the city : some, 
as Terana, and Kasila, have no representatives there. The most numerous 
clan in the city is the Goila. In addition to the above, other clans are mentioned 
which are not brought into this category, such as : 

1. DasA. 

2. Birfidarl-R&ja. 

The Dasfts are illegitimate descendants from an Agarw&l& named Basd, and 
therefore are excluded from intercourse with the other sub-castes. The BirS.dar4- 
r&ja clan are said to be descended from an AgarwS.l& named Ratan Chand, who 
was made a Raja by the emperor Farokhsir in the former part of the last cen- 
tury. By some persons, however, this clan is regarded as the same as the Das&s. 

The Purbiya, or eastern AgarwSl&s, form one large branch, in contradis* 
tinction to the Pachhainya, or western branch. The former are regarded as of 
older date in Benares than the latter. The two divisions may eat together, but 
cannot intermarry. Formerly, they intermarried, but in consequence of a quarrel, 
became disunited, and remained so for a number of years. Steps have been 
taken of late to effect a reconciliation, with some measure of success. The 
Agarw41&s are particular in observing caste rules: they are said not to eat 
meat : and their widows do not marry again. A large number, probably one 
half, of the entire tribe, are attached to the Jain religion. Indeed, in the eastern 
districts of these provinces, they intermarry with the Sariogis, a well-known 
Jain sect. 

The Agarw&l&s are found in every village and town in the Bulandshahr 
district. Those of Mainpftri profess the Jain religion. A family of the tribe 
made its way from Gorakhpfiir to Etawah about the close of the sixteenth century. 
^^ One L&l BihS^ra," says Mr. A. O. Hume, " was the head of the house, and was 
one of the royal treasurers. He spent some time at Kora Jah&nS.bftd, but died 
in Etawah, where his son, Baijnftth, built the palace, and his grandson, Jai 
Chand, the Eattra, now owned and occupied by his multitudinous descendants, 


many of whom are atifl wealthy merchants and considerable land-holders* Of 
the humble traders, or Baniyas, aeattered ereiywhere abont the district, a hizge 
proportion are AgarwilAs (a).** Zemindars of this tribe are located in the 
Havali Chonir pargannah of the MiizapAr district, haying come originally from 
Delhi. There are scnne also in the Karwat pargannah of the same district 

It has been remarked already that the Chandhri, or headman of the Agar- 
W&14 tribe in Benares, is Babn Haris Chandra, fie is of the Sinhala gatra or 
clan. In the attack on Agroha by Shahftb-nd-dln, many persons belonging to 
this clan were shun. Their widows, who immolated themselves, are still 
worshipped as Suttees in the fiunily house in the dty. Two of these were 
wives of his direct ancestors. They are represented by certain figures or images. 
On quitting Agroha the £Eunily resided for many years at Lakhnautt, a village 
near Delhi ; but it was not until the reign of Bah&dur Shfth, son of Aurungsebe, 
that any of its members rose to distinction. Under this ruler some of them 
occupied a high position in the State, and attained to the rank of Raja. Croing 
back thirteen generations from the present time, the lineal ancestcHr was B&l- 
krishna. One of his sons was sent as an ambassador to tiie Nawab of Morshidfi- 
bd.d, with whom he so much ingratiated himself that, as a token of good-will 
and confidence, His Highness -presented him with an estate in RSjmahil, idiich 
still in part remains witii the family. One of his descendants married the 
daughter of Sahu B&m Chandra, a banker of great reputation in Benares, a 
hundred years ago, in the time of the fiunous Balwant Sing, Baja of Benares. 
At his death he bequeathed his property to his son-in-law, Anu Chandra, who 
had two brothers and ten sons, besides many daughtere. One of the brotiiers 
became v^ fakir or devotee, and founded a math or monastic house at Bh&gulpftr, 
which is still in existence. So great, however, have been since then the changes 
of fortune in the family, that its only surviving representatives are Babu 
Chandra and his brother. 

(a) CenfUB Report for 1865. Mr. A. O. Hiiiiie*8 Memoruidum, Appendix B., p. 89. 


CASTES OF TKkDmS>-(Continned.) 



The Oswftis are a wealthy class of Baniyas found in Benares and in many 
other parts of these provinces. Their original country is Gujerftt and Marwftr, 
where they reside in large numbers. Many of them are attached to the Jain 
religion, and are known as Sar&ogls. The word Sarftogt is, says Wilson, a 
corruption of ^ srftvok,' a lay worshipper of Buddha, or a Jaina, that is a 
follower of the Jain religion. 

It is a singular circumstance, in connexion with the trading castes, that 
many of their members are devoted to the Jain religion, or to some other 
modification of the Buddhist faith. In Benares the following tribes and clans are 
more or less illustrations of these remarks : — 






Sri Sri M&l. 


Srim&Il Pattan. 

















Babu Siva Prtudd, c. s. i. 

A distinguished member of this caste in Benares is Babu Siva Pras&d, 
c. s. I., Inspector of Schools. This gentleman has for many years occupied a 



foremost place in the city, and in these provinces generally, for the intelligence 
and zeal he has displayed in promoting the education of the people. He has not 
only written and compiled a large number of useful books in the Hindi and 
Urdu languages, for the use of schools, but has also by his personal intercourse 
with multitudes of people in all parts of the country* imparted a great stimulus 
to the cause of education among them. This is acknowledged, not only by the 
Government, but likewise by all classes of the community : so that he has come 
to be justly regarded as an enlightened reformer, who, instead of inventing baseless 
theories and impracticable schemes of national improvement, like so many of 
his fellow-countrymen, is heartily and effectively laboring, by the adoption of 
wise and beneficial plans, for their welfare. On several occasions the Grovem- 
ment have shown their high appreciation of the Babu's public spirit and ability. 
He has received a grant of land, has been created a Commander of the Star of 
India, and latterly has been appointed to the post of Inspector of Schools, in 
succession to B. Griffith, Esq., Principal of Queen's College, Benares, with whom 
he was previously associated for several years as Joint Inspector. The high 
position of full Inspector is one never before attained by a native of India. On 
conferring the title of Commander of the Star of India upon the Babu, at a 
Durbar held in Benares, Sir William Muir, Lieutenant-Governor of the North- 
western Provinces, stated his great satisfaction that a native of the country 
had been found so well qualified in every way to hold this important office, 
and expressed the hope that others, emulating his spirit and example, and 
possessed of his conspicuous qualifications, might come to the front, and be 
selected for similar posts. 

Babu Siva Pras&d has furnished me with an account of his family history. 
The following outline will be read with interest. 

The family is descended from Srestha DhS^ndhal, of the Parm&r caste, who 
in the year 1001 Sambat, or A. D. 945, erected a Jain temple in the Jaipur 
territory. His posterity seems to have remained in that country until the 
eleventh generation, when on account of the attack of the emperor Al&uddin 
Ehilji on the fort of Ranthambhaur, its representative, Bh&n&, with his son, 
quitted the land in company with the Raja in 1335 Sambat, or A. D. 1279, and 
came to Champ&ner. Bh&n&'s descendant, in the fifth generation, was Gor& who 
in 1485 Sambat, or A. D. 1429, left Champaner, and settled in Ahmadab&d. Ten 
generations from Gor&, that is 1684 Sambat, or A. D. 1628, Padmast quitted 
Abmadabftd and came to Khambh&t. He was contemporary with ELaliy&n S&gar 
Stir, the Jain high priest. 


Amardat, grandson of Padmast, presented a valuable diamond to the emperor 
Shkh Jah&n, who in return conferred on him the title of Eai. He had two sonsy 
Rai Uday Chand and Kesari Singh. Rai Uday Chand had four sons, namely, Rai 
Mitra Sen, Subh&g Chand, Fath Chand, and Rai Singh. Subh&g Chand had a 
son named Amar Chand, who had two sons, Rai Muhkam Singh and Raja DS.I 

Fath Chand was adopted by his maternal uncle, M&nik Chand, and acquired 
the title of Jagat Seth from the emperor Muhammad ShS^h for cheapening grain 
in Delhi. His grandson, Jagat Seth Mahtab Rai and his cousin, Sriip Chand, 
were killed by the Nawab K^sim Ali KhS-n, of Murshid&b&d, for taking the side 
of the East India Company. It appears that, at the massacre perpetrated in 
Delhi by N&dir Sh&h, several members of the family were put to death, but 
Raja D^ Chand, Jagat Seth, Mahtab Rai, and Srikp Chand, escaped to Murshi- 
d&b&d. On occasion of the arrest of Raja DS,1 Chand by the Nawab of that 
city, the other two voluntarily accompanied him to prison, where they allowed 
him to escape, and bore the punishment of death to which the Nawab in revenge 
sentenced them. Jagat Seth was esteemed the wealthiest man of his time. 
Clive said of him, that, next to God, if the East India Company was obliged to 
any one man in the world for its possessions in India, that man was Jagat Seth. 

Raja D&l Chand effected his escape into the kingdom of Oudh. He was a 
man of great virtue, and was regarded with much esteem and veneration by his 
contemporaries. His son. Raja Uttam Chand, died in his life-time ; but he had 
adopted his sister's son, Babu Gopi Chand. 

It should be remarked that, from the time of Rai Amardat down to the 
period of Rai Mahkam Singh, the family enjoyed the hereditary post of jewellers 
to the emperor of Delhi. Besides which, the younger branches of the family 
held, at various times, many important posts in the public service, as Mansabdars, 
or feudal knights, contractors, and so forth. 

During the minority of Babu Gopi Chand, the family lost much of its pro- 
perty. His only son was Babu Siva Prasad, who, at the death of his father, 
was twelve years of age. On leaving College the Babu, at the age of sixteen, 
entered the service of the Maharaja of Bhartpftr as Wakeel. Being dissatisfied, 
not to say, disgusted with the irregular practices of the native Durbar, he threw 
up his situation, and accepted the post of Naib Munshi in the Secretariat of 
the Foreign Department during the First Sikh War. After this he was Mfr 
Munshi in the Simla Agency for the period of eight years. Some time after- 
wards he became Joint Inspector of Schools in the Benares Province, and, as 


already observed, has been recently created Inspector of Schools. He has two 
sons, Satchit and Aniand. 


This is a numerous tribe of Vaisyas engaged extensively in trade, and hav- 
ing its roots in many districts of these provinces. They are much addicted to 
banking, and are a wealthy and industrious people. Mr. P. Camegy notices a 
peculiarity respecting them, that their women will not eat food cooked by their 
husbands. They are said to have come originally from Amethi. The tribe is 
divided into three clans, as follows : 

1. Ametht. 

2. Indrapati. 

3. Mauhariya. 

These clans are separate from one another, and do not intermarry. 

Large numbers of the tribe are found in Benares, who pursue many kinds 
of trade. Some of its members are persons of wealth and position. The prin- 
cipal of them, who are, at the same time, Chaudhris or head-men of the tribe in 
that city, are Hingft S&hii, and Gol S&hd. 

The caste is met with in all districts east of Cawnpftr. There are also 
families in Agra ; and a considerable colony is settled in Bijnour. 


This clan has the tradition of being descended partly from a Vaisya and 
partly from a Brahmanical ancestor. It is, however, regarded as of the Vaisya 
tribe, and, like other Baniyas, is engaged in trade. The members of the clan 
wear the sacred cord ; but this also is the practice of many other clans of this 
great tribe. Polygamy is indulged in by the Agrahris ; on which account, it is 
said, they have lost the high position which they formerly held. Yet why this 
should have been the case, is not apparent, seeing that Brahmans and Rajpoots, 
who are much superior to them in social rank, are not dishonoured by their 
polygamist habits. 

The Agrahris are divided into several classes, some of which are as follows : 

1. Uttaraha. 

2. Pachhaw&n. 

3. Band^rasi. 

4. T&nchara. 

5. D& 

6. Mahuliya. 

7. Ajudhiyabasl (from Ajudhiya), 

8. Chhtanwe (from ninety-six /^ar* 



Most of these clans are found in Benares : and the first three of them inter- 
marry. The Agrahris form a very numerous class of tradesmen in that city, 
many of whom are of slender means. 


This tribe of Vaisyas came originally, it is said, from Delhi. In that city 
they are distinguished for their talents as singers. They cultivate a peculiar 
strain or measure, in which they are unsurpassed. The Dh^sars are rigid in 
the maintenance of the purity of their order, and in the performance of Hindu 
ceremonies and duties ; and neither eat meat nor drink any kind of spirit. In 
religion they are mostly worshippers of Vishnu rather than of Shiva. Their 
occupation, like that of the majority of Vaisyas, is trade and commerce ; some 
take to the profession of soldiers. Under Mahomedan rule the caste was in 
a flourishing condition (a). There is a hill to the south called Dhi!ksi, at which 
is a Isacred tank and also a Hindu monastery. Thither the Dht^sars from all 
parts of the country proceed on pilgrimage. It is a spot specially venerated by 
the tribe. They have a tradition that this is their primitive home, from whicli 
their ancestors issued, before occupying the province around Delhi, and thence 
scattering themselves over the country at large. 

The Dh^sars are an intelligent and energetic race. Under the Mahomedan 
emperors they occasionally filled high posts. They are found in Allahabad, 
Agra, Mathur&, Bulandshahr, and more or less in most towns of the North- 
western Provinces. Those in the Alaigarh district are descended from Rao 
SOijan Singh and his followers, who came from Koel to Mathur& about one 
hundred and thirty years ago. 

It is said that no Sar&ogls are found among the Dhftsars. 

Bandarwdr. , 

The Bandarw&rs are a very numerous tribe of Baniyas, having no fewer 
than thirty-six separate clans, some of the chief of which are the following : 

5. Rupiya. 

6. Mftdhan. 

7. Badhua Jt. 

1. Sonariya. 

2. Sethiawar. 

3. Chandhariya. 

4. Sonpardya. 

The clans seem to intermarry freely with each other. There are very few 
members of the tribe in Benares, not more in fact than some half dozen families. 

(a) M. S. on Caste, bj KiBhori Lftl. 


A caste of Baniyas. It has very few families in Benares. 


This large tribe of Baniyas or traders has seventy -two sub-divisions. As it 
is represented by only three or four families in Benares, these separate clans are 
to be sought for elsewhere. The common home of the tribe is at Bikanir, in 
Rajpootana, where its members are bankers, merchants, and shop-keepers. 

The Maheshwarts, like the Dhiisars, are very attentive to their religious 
ceremonies. Most of them are Yaishnavas, or followers of Vishnu, although 
some are devoted to the Jain religion. 

In the North- Western Provinces the caste is found in Jaunpiir, Mirzapftr, 
Ghazipiir, Bijnaur, Muzaffarnagar, as well as in Benares. 


This tribe came originally from Gujer&t. It numbers about thirty families 
in Benares, which are engaged in trade. Its separate clans intermarry. 


The great trading Vaisya classes are in these Provinces more addicted to the 
worship of Vishnu than other Hindus, yet, for the most part, they worship other 
divinities likewise. Not a few of them, such as some of the Oswdls and 
Agarwfi.lfi.s, are attached to the Jain religion. One clan of the Vaisyas, however, 
is exclusively devoted to Vishnu, the second member of the Hindu Triad, and 
is known by the name of Vishnftl. 

The VishnMs, strange to say, do not appear to be held in great esteem by 
Hindus generally, who consider the food and water touched by a Vishnftl as 
polluted. The Vishnftis, however, exhibit the same sensitiveness, for they will 
not eat food or drink water which has been touched by other Hindus. The 
founder of this sect was one Jh&ma Ji. There are several thousands of the sect 
in the district of Bijnaur. 

The Vishndis read the Qur&n, and fast and pray like Mahomedans ; and also 
observe the Ek&dasi fast of the eleventh day after the new moon and full 
moon, like strict Hindus. Mahomedans may be initiated into this caste, 
which seems to have borrowed from them the custom of burying its dead, instead 
of burning them, according to the almost universal practice among Hindus. 


This caste has been settled in various parts of the Mor&dabdrd district for the 
last three hundred years and upwards. 

Sir H. Elliot says that the '' tribe is of growing importance in Rehar, 
Sherkot; and some of the neighbouring pargannahs of Rohilkhand. They are 
found in great numbers in Bikanir, Nagor, and Hissar ; and small communities 
of them are also found in the Upper Doab.'* Respecting their customs, he adds, 
" they worship according to the Hindu ceremonial three times a day, and pray 
after the Musalman fashion five times a day. They keep twenty-eight holidays 
during the year, and observe the fast of RamzS^n. They read both the QurS^n 
and Hindu Pothls" (a). 

This tribe is divided into twenty branches. 


This is properly a division of the great agricultural tribe of Kumbhts. In 
Gujer&t the Pathels till the soil, and perform various kinds of menial duties ; 
but their representatives in Benares are exclusively devoted to trade, and there- 
fore rank as Vaisyas. There are about twenty families of them in that city. 
The chief men among them are Gop&l Dfi,3 and Munnl D&s, who are wealthy 
merchants residing in Chaukhambha, a principal street of the city. The Pathels 
are divided into two clans as follows : — 

1. Barhua. 

2. Pathel. 

These clans intermarry. 

Sri Mdl 

A Baniya caste of Benares. Some of its members are attached to the Jain 


Sri Sri Mdl 

A caste of traders in Benares distinct from Srt Mid and Srim&lt Pattan. 
Some of its members are of the Jain faith. 

SH Mdl Pattan. 

A caste of Baniyas or traders, of whom a small community exists in Benares. 
They came originally from Bithur near Cawnpiir. The gotra of those in Benares 
is called Eanchdli. Some of the caste are attached to the Jain religion. 

(a) Elliofs Supplemental QloBsaiy, VoL L, p. 43. 



Communities of this trading caste are settled in Ghazipto, Jaunpftr, Azim- 
garh, Gorakhpftr, and Mor&dab&d. It is divided into twenty branches. 


These Baniyas are from Mahoba. There are many of the caste in Benares 
who are employed as shop-keepers. Their common gotra is Matal. The caste 
is also found in Cawnpt^r. 


The Lohiyas are a numerous class of shop-keepers in Benares. They pro- 
fess that their ancestors came from Allahabad, which they regard as the home 
of the caste. The Lohiyas of Benares are of the Eftsyap goira. Some 
adhere to the Jain religion. The caste is also met with in Agra, in small 


A small community of shop-keepers in Benares. According to their tradi- 
tions, they have come from Jodhpdr. Their common ffotra is called Tael. 
Some of them are of the Jain faith. 


A numerous Yaisya caste of Benares, sprung from Ujain. Some of them 
are Jainis in religion. The caste is also found in Mathur& and Agra : in the 
latter district it numbers several hundred families. Those in Benares are of the 
Singhal goira. 


The Barhsenls in Benares are bankers, and are a considerable community. 
They state that their original home was Agroha. In Benares they are of the 
Garg gotra. Numerous families of the caste are found both in Mathur& and 


A numerous caste in Benares engaged in all kinds of trade. They profess 
to have sprung from Mainpftrl. They belong to the Burhel gotra. It might 
have been fairly conjectured that the members of this caste were all attached 
to the Buddhist religion, as such is the proper meaning of the name they have 
chosen for tjiemselves, Yet such does not seem to be the case. Some of them, 


however, I cannot say how many, are of the Jain faith, a perversion of Bud- 


A trading caste from Jaipftr settled in Benares. They are few in number in 
that city, and all belong to the Amerta gotra. Some of them are of the Jain 


Upwards of thirty thousand members of this tribe are located in the Banda 
district alone. Benares, Mirzapiir, Jaunpftr, and Fathpiir also contain many 
families. In the city of Benares the tribe is wealthy and numerous. Some of 
lis members are great merchants, while others are only small tradesmen. 

The EasarwIUits are divided into three clans. 

1 . Kashmiri. 

2. Purbiya. 

3. Allahab&dt. 

The Kashmiri Kasarw^nls came from Kari Manikpftr. They number about 
sixty families in Benares. The Purbiyas are very numerous in the city, and 
are stated to amount to twelve hundred families. Originally there were only 
two clans ; but not long since a serious quarrel arose, which caused the forma- 
tion of a third. The three, however, intermarry. R&m Kishan and Rim Charan 
are two Chaudhrls or head-men of this caste in Benares. 


A numerous and influential tribe of Baniyas, who are found as far as 
Agra to the west, LallatptUr to the south, Grorakhpftr to the north, and Benares 
and Azimgarh to the east. They hold a very respectable position among the 
Yaisya tribes. Their widows imfortunately are not allowed to marry again. 
The Ummars are very few in number in Benares. The tribe has three divisions, 
as follows : 

1. Til-Ununar. 

2. Dirh-Ummar. 

3. Dusre. 

T 1 


These are again sub-divided into twenty branches. The Til-Ummars are 
the highest in rank ; the next are the Dirh-Ummars. 


This tribe is said by Kishori Lfil to have come originally from Lucknow, 
but unfortunately he neglects to give his authority for the statement. More 
than twenty thousand persons of this clan reside in Hamtrpftr. They are 
numerous also in Benares, Fathpftr, and other places. Their widows do not 
marry again. They are, for the most part, worshippers of Vishnu. They are 
general traders, both wholesale and retail ; some are bankers. They are divided 
into two clans, as follows : ^ • 

1 . Purbiya. 

2. Fachhaiyan. 


The Kushtfis are reckoned among the Baniyas. They are, for the most 
part, engaged in silk manufactures. The following clans are found in Benares, 
but in small numbers. 

1. Patwa. 

2. Dakhini. 

3. Banarast. 

These clans are totally distinct, and do not intermarry. The Eushta 
Patw&s are different from the Patwi tribe already described. 


The chief seat of this caste is in Agra, where, by the last Census, it had a 
community of nearly ten thousand persons. The Mahrus are engaged in various 
departments of trade. 


A mixed race of wandering merchants, consisting, to a large extent, of 
accretions from a multitude of castes. They are found in all directions in these 


Provinces. There seems to be an original Banj&ra tribe inhabiting the lowlands 
beneath the mountain range from Gorakhpftr to Hardw&r. They were once a 
very turbulent race, but have at last been brought into order. In their wander- 
ings they generally take with them their wives and children, and are to be found, 
I imagine, more or less, throughout India, 

For a full account of this heterogenous race, see Wilson's Glossary, p. 60, 
and Sir H. Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, pp. 52-56. 

The Naiks are a class of Banj&ras, who have settled down in the Benares 
and Allahabad districts, and are engaged in agricultural pursuits . 





The Confectioner Caste. Although persons of many castes, especially 
Yaisjas, including even Brahmans, are employed in the manufacture and sale of 
sweetmeats, nevertheless, in the province of Benares, and in the Lower DoS^b, 
there is a separate tribe engaged in this occupation. Hindus are passionately 
fond of sweetmeats, and, if they can afford it, will eat them to an enormous 
extent. Some almost live upon them. As there is a large proportion of ghi or 
clarified butter commonly used in their manufacture, those who eat largely of 
this kind of food are apt to become inordinately fat. Hindus, especially Bengalis, 
are very skilful as confectioners, and produce many varieties of sweetmeats 
never seen in England or France. 

The HalwMs are often confounded with the Bhftnj&s, or grain-roasters, 
arising from the fact that the one frequently pursues the business of the other. 
Yet they are distinct castes, and have no marriage connexion with one another. 
The Halwals have seven sub-divisions : 

1. Eanoujea. 

2. Pachpiria. 

3. Bauniw&lS.. 

4. Gaunr. 

5. Madhesia. 

6. Tlhara. 

7. Lakhnnwa. 

Intermarriages to some slight extent are occasionally permitted between 
some of these clans ; but as a rule they keep apart. All the clans are found in 


Benares, but the most numerous are the Pachpirias and Madhesias. The former 
worship five deotas or deities. They also worship the jhanda, or flag erected by 
Mahomedans in honour of G&zt MiSn, a Moslem saint; and also the iaziya^ a 
small model representation of the tomb of Hasan and Hassain, carried by the 
Mahomedan sect of Shiahs at the festival of the Muharram. They likewise go 
on pilgrimage with members of this sect to Bahraich in Oudh, where the saint 
was killed and buried. But they are Hindus, notwithstanding. Some of the 
Kanoujeas intermarry with the Madhesias. 

The word Halw&l is derived from Halua, a kind of sweetmeat. 

This caste is chiefly found in the eastern districts of these provinces. 
According to the last Census, there were more than seventeen thousand members 
of the caste in Mirzap(ir alone. 


These are sellers of oil (tel). They occupy a respectable position among 
the lower castes ; nevertheless, the higher castes will not permit them to touch 
their food. Most of them manufacture oil, as well as sell it. In Benares they 
have a considerable number of sub-divisions or clans, which, for the most part, 
do not intermarry or eat together. I have collected the following : 


Bt&hut Bans. 

















Sri B&stak 





The Bt&hflt Bansis are considered far above the rest, from the circum* 
stance that they do not sufier their widows to re-marry. All the remaining 
sub-castes permit this liberty to their widows. The Jaunpftrl-tells are not 
sellers of oil at all ; but sell ddl^ a sort of pea, extensively eaten by the inhabit- 
ants of the North Western Provinces. The Jaunpftrls, Kanoujias, L^horls, and 
Banarasiyas, as their names denote, belong specially to Jaunpftr, Kanauj, 
Lahore, and Benares. The Turkiya-tells are Mahomedans. I heard of another 
clan of this tribe in Mirzapftr, called Kliara. 

The GulhsLnis of Mirzapdr are the lowest in rank of all the sub-divisions 
of this caste. 



Properly one who hawks his goods about from place to place, and keeps 
no shop for the exhibition of his wares. He is commonly found seated on the 
ground with his goods spread out for sale on a mat before him. 


Seller of drugs and perfumes. The word is derived from gandha, smell, 
perfume, any fragrant substance. In the Karnatic it is used for sandal-wood (a). 
In Benares upwards of a hundred families are engaged in this trade. 


Spirit-sellers form a distinct caste and clan among Hindus. In Benares, 
and this part of India generally, they are called Kalw&rs. Toddy or spirit is 
in these Provinces chiefly made either from the flowers of the Mahfti tree, or 
from very coarse sugar called gur. The Elalwd^rs have shops licensed for its 
sale. No other persons besides them engage in the traffic. Although ranking 
among the Vaisyas they are not regarded as very reputable members of the 
community. Drunkenness and immorality are more or less associated with 
them and their trade. As a race Hindus are not much addicted to intoxication 
from drinking fiery spirits. Nevertheless, the habit of 'smoking opium and 
gdnja^ a preparation of hemp, and also of chewing, smoking, and drinking an 
infusion of hhdng^ another preparation of the same plant, is very common. 
Bh4ng is said, by Dr. O' ShS^ughnessy, to consist of the large leaves and capsules 
of the hemp plant; and gdnja^ of the remaining parts dried {h). Brahmans, 
although they never smoke at all, are largely given to the use of Bh&ng which, 
like the other two narcotics, imparts a fearful stimulus to the system, and has 
a maddening efiect upon the brain. 

The Kalw&rs have the following sub-divisions. 

1. Bl&hftt. 

2. Jaiswd.r&. 

3. Rangkt. 

4. BaikalS^r. 

5. Surhl, or Sirdhl | 

6. Bhuj-kalaura. 

7. Bhojphuria. 

8. Gurer. 

9. Tftnk. 

(a) Wilson's Glossary, p. 164. 
(h) Ibid, p. 76. 


The Bi&hiits are in position and reputation far superior to the rest. They 
neither sell nor drink spirits ; nor do they eat flesh. They are tradesmen and 
bankers. The JaiswHr^ may have as many wives as they please. The Bangkis 
are Mahomedans. In their place, therefore, should be inserted, I imagine, the 
Gurers, another sub-caste, of which I have received information. The Surhls, 
or as I have heard them also called, Simrls, are lowest in the list. They eat 
swine's flesh, a fact which sinks them very low in the Hindu social scale. The 
Bhuj-kalauras are a mixed people, formed from the union of the Bhunjas (who 
roast grain) with the Kalwllrs. These are said not to be found in Benares ; 
they are met with in Mirzapftr. The Jaisw4rfi,s are numerous in the sacred 
city. None of these sub-divisional castes intermarry. Their widows are not 
permitted to marry again. 

Bhunjd^ or Bkar-Bhunjd. 

A caste employed in roasting or parching grain. The word is derived from 
bhunnd to parch. Kice, peas, gram (a kind of pea), and other kinds of grain, 
are parched, and sold in the bazars. Daring the hot season it is common to 
feed horses with roasted grain. Some of the Bhunji,s are sweetmeat-sellers, 
especially the KS.ndu clan, and many members of the two castes of BhunjUs 
and HalwMs confound them together. But the distinction is easily ascertained 
by putting the simple question, whether they eat together and intermarry. 

The Bhunjis are divided into seven sub-castes, some of which are the 
following : 

1. Kanoujea. 

2. KAndu. 

3. Madhesia. 

4. Jaisw&rS,. 
6- Sakhsena. 
6. Utarrah&. 

These clans do not intermarry. The Kanoujeas and Madhesias of this caste 
are quite distinct from the clans of these names belonging to the HalwSt tribe, 
and have no connexion with them in the way of marriage. Both the Kanoujeas 
and K&ndus sell sweetmeats as well as parch grain. The K&ndus also sow and 
reap the Singhdrd. % 

There is a close connexion between the Bhunj^ and Kahd^rs, and I have 
found it impossible to obtain a complete list of the seven sub-divisions of the 
one which does not contain one or more of the sub-divisional names of the other, 
and yet they are two distinct castes, and do not intermarry. The chief cause 



of th^ difficulty lies in this, that the various clans care so little about one 
another that few persons trouble themselves to inquire which are the proper clans 
of their tribe. The Bhar Bhunj&s are said to spring from a Eah&r father, and 
Sudra mother (a). 

The caste is very numerous, and is found in nearly all the districts of these 
Provinces. It is variously styled Bhunjd., Bhar-Bhunj&, Bhftrjt, Bhar-Bhdja, 
Bhad-Bhdja, Bar-Bhunj&, Bhuj&rt, and BhunjUrt. 

(a) Wilson's Glossary, p. 78. 




The Writer Caste comes somewhere at the head of the Sudras, or 
between them and the Vaisyas. Nothing is known decisively respecting its 
origin ; and although disputation on the subject seems to have been unbounded, 
no Satisfactory result has been arrived at. The Eayasths themselves affirm 
that their common ancestor, on the father's side^, was a Brahman ; and there- 
fore lay claim to a high position among Indian castes. But the Brahmand 
repudiate the connexion, and deny their right to the claim, giving them the 
rank of Sudras merely. Wilson, in his Glossary, states that they sprang from 
a Eshatriya father and a Yaisya mother, but gives no authority for the asser- 
tion. According to the Padam Purftn&, they derive their origin, like the 
superior castes, from Brahm&, the first deity of the Hindu Triad. The Brah- 
mans assent to this; but add, that it was from the feet of Brahmft, the least 
honorable part, from which they imagine all the Sudra castes have proceeded. 
The Eayasths as a body trace their descent from one Chitrgupt, though none 
can show who he was, or in what epoch he existed. They regard him as a 
species of divinity, who after this life will summon them before him, and dis- 
pense justice upon them according to their actions ; sending the good to heaven, 
and the wicked to hell. The Jd^tim^ld, says that the Eayasths are true Sudras. 
Manu, however, (JL^ 6) states that they are the offspring of a Brahman father and 
a Sudra mother. With so many different authorities, it is impossible to affirm 
which is correct. 

In point of education, intelligence, and enterprise, this caste occupies 
deservedly a high position. A large number of Government officials in Indian 
Courts of Law, and of waqik^ or barristers, belong to it ; and in fact it supplies 
writers and accountants to all classes of the community, official and non-official 



Thus it comes to pass that the influence and importance of the Eayasths are 
felt in every direction, and are hardly equalled in proportion to their numbers 
by any other caste, not excepting even the Brahmanical. As revenue officers, 
expounders of law, keepers of registers of property, and so forth, they are 
extensively employed; indeed, they regard such duties as theirs by special 
birthright, while other persons who may discharge them are, in their estimation, 
interlopers. These views are rudely dealt with by the liberal Government of 
India, which shows no respect to persons or castes, and selects for its servants 
the best qualified individuals. Nevertheless, the Eayasths adhere to the notion 
in spite of the diflSculty of defending it. 

The proportion of men able to read and write in this caste is, I believe, 
greater than in any other, excepting the Brahmans. They are eager in the 
pursuit of knowledge, and send their sons in large numbers, both to the Govern- 
ment and Missionary Colleges and Schools in all parts of the country. I under- 
stand that a considerable number of the women of this tribe can read ; and that 
it is esteemed a shame for any man of the caste not to be able to do so. In 
regard to their position in Bengal, Mr. Campbell, in his " Ethnology of India," 
makes the following observations : — "In Bengal," he says, **the Eaits seem 
to rank next, or nearly next, to the Brahmins, and form an aristocratic class. 
They have extensive proprietary rights in the land, and also, I believe, cultivate 
a good deal. Of the ministerial places in the public offices, they have the larger 
share. In the educational institutions and higher professions of Calcutta, they 
are, I believe, quite equal to the Brahmins, all qualities taken together ; though 
some detailed information of different classes, as shown by the educational tests, 
would be very interesting. Among the Native Pleaders of the High Court, 
most of the ablest men are either Brahmins or Eaits ; perhaps the ablest of 
all, at tiiis moment (1866), is a Eait" (a). Speaking of the Eayasths in Hindustan 
Proper, in contradistinction to Bengal and other parts of India, his remarks 
are of value. " Somehow there has sprung up this special Writer class, which 
among Hindus has not only rivalled the Brahmins, but in Hindustan may be 
said to have almost wholly ousted them from secular literate work, and under 
our Government is rapidly ousting the Mahomedans also. Very sharp and clever 
these K^its certainly are" (6). 

The Eayasths are notorious for their drinking and gambling propensities. 
On special occaidons many of them devote day and night to these vices, by reason 

(a) Mr. CampbelTs ^ Ethnology of India,'* p. 119. 
ib) i»itf, p. 118. 


of which the caste loses much of that respectability which its talent and edu- 
cation would otherwise secure. These terrible evils well illustrate, however, the 
bondage of caste. Whatever any caste sanctions, whether it be right or wrong, its 
members are in honor bound to carry out. This accounts for the prevalence of 
these two pernicious habits among the Kayasths. The caste upholds and sanc- 
tions them, so. that I believe he would be regarded as a renegade who should not, 
on great occasions, indulge in them. Yet a few persons are to be found here 
and there in the caste, who altogether spurn such habits ; and to keep themselves 
quite pure, as they imagine, from pollution, neither drink sprits, nor gamble, nor 
eat flesh. They are termed bhagats^ or religious persons, and wear the sacred 
thread, and the kanthi or small necklace of beads. Should they, at any time, fall 
into temptation, these sacred objects are taken from them. 

There is one other evil to which this tribe is addicted, which indeed is 
not peculiar to the Kayasth caste, but is cherished, more or less, by all the castes 
of every degree. This is the inordinate expense incurred at marriage festivals. 
Some members of the Eayasth caste, the Sri BS^stabs, in particular, Indulge in such 
expenses to a most extravagant and ruinous extent. Men, with an income of ten 
rupees a month, will spend three hundred, and even five hundred, at the mar- 
riage of their daughters, which they have borrowed at the enormous interest of 
twenty-four per cent per annum, or more, and under the burden of which they 
lie for many years, and at their death hand down, perhaps, to their children. 
Great and most laudable efforts have been made of late in Benares, Allahabad, 
and other cities in the North- Western Provinces, to bring, not only the Eayasths, 
but all the principal castes, to agree to a great diminution of marriage expenses. 
This, it is hoped, will facilitate marriages ; lessen, if not wipe out, the crime of 
infanticide so prevalent among certain castes ; and give to Hindu girls, not only 
a better chance to live, but also a more honorable, because less expensive, 
position in native society. 

The Kayasths are called Devi-putr, or sons of devl^ a term used to express 
a female divinity in general. In other words, they pay more homage to female 
deities than to male ; though why, I am unable to say. They hold Brahmans in 
great respect, more so, perhaps, than other castes ; although every caste, from the 
highest to the lowest, reverences the Brahmans, even to worshipping them. 

This tribe is divided into twelve sub-castes, which are really independent 
of one another, as, with the exception of the Md^thurs, the first on the list, they 
do not intermarry, nor eat cooked food together. They may smoke together, 
however, from the same cocoa-nut hookah, — a condition of considerable liberty 



They may all likewise drink spirits with one another indiscriminately. For 
some unexplained reason, it is the privilege of all the sub-castes below thje first 
to intermarry with it, although they are not permitted to intermarry with one 
another. The sub-castes are descended, tradition affirms, from one father, 
Chitrgupt, and two mothers ; one the daughter of Sikraj Rishi, the other the 
daughter of Surma Rishi. From the first marriage four sub*castes have^ it is 
said, proceeded ; and the remainder from the second. There is also half a 
caste call Unai, commonly appended to these twelve, sprung, it is asserted, from 
a concubine of Chitrgupt. But the Ka\ asths proper do not associate with its 
members. Yet they are always spoken of as Kayasths. So that, in public 
Hindu estimation, there are twelve and a half castes of Kayasths. It should be 
stated, however, that the impure Unai sub-caste of Kayasths is devoted to 
trade, and does not pursue the special occupation of the Writer caste. The 
twelve sub-castes* are as follows : — 

1, M&thur (from Mathur&.) 


Sftraj Dhuj. 

2. Bhatn&gar (from Bhatnair or 



Bhatnagar. ) 



3. Saksenft (from Farakhab^d.) 



4. SrlB&stab. 



5. Kul Sarisht. 


Gaur (from Bengal.) 

6. Amasht (Ambastha.) 



Owing to the privilege of intermarriage with the other sub-castes, the 
M&thurs are diminishing continually as a separate sub-caste, and may in time 
be entirely intermingled with the rest. There are but few families of them in 
Benares. The custom of the Bhatn&gars in regard to marriage is the same as 
that of the Agarwdlas and Khatrts. They agree with the M^thurs in eating 
cooked rice and ddl (a kind of pea) with all their clothes on, in which respect 
they differ from other Hindus, who always remove their outer garments in par- 
taking of cooked food, in which is no ghi or clarified butter. This is called 
icachd khdnd^ in opposition to pakkd khdnd^ dry food, or food cooked with ghi^ 
which is eaten by all classes properly clothed (a). The Bhatn&gars of the 

(a) The distinction between hacha khana and pakkd kkdnd is very curious, and, in the social life of 
Hindus, of incalculable importance. The former consists of cooked food, such as, rice and ddl, and of a coarse 
thick flat cake, baked. Before partaking of this food, all Hindus, as a rule, wash hands and feet, and remove 
their garments from their persons, including the turban and skull-cap, leaving only a cloth round the loins. 
The castes are exceedingly particular in eating this kacM kkdnd apart. A Brahman and a Riypoot, for instance. 


West eat fowls and meat, luxuries eschewed by their brethren of the East. 
The Saksen&s have three divisions : — 

1. AsL 

2. Dftsre. 

3. Khare. 

These do not intermarry. The Srt B^tabs are perhaps the most import- 
ant of all the Eayasth sub-castes; and although * enumerated ordinarily as 
fourth in the list, should properly be at its head. They are said to have come 
originally from Ajudhiya. Most of the Kayasths in Benares belong to this 
sub-caste. They are also numerous in Mirzapftr and Allahabad. There are two 
divisions commonly made of the Sri B&stabs : — 

1. Khare. ] 2. Dftsre. 

These also do not intermarry- Two other clans of this sub-caste descended, it 
is said, from one mother, are spread over Jhftsi, Fathpftr, Nawd^bganj, Arail, 
and places in their vicinity. These are : — 

1. NipleShab&n. | 2. Buddhi Shab&n. 

In Gorakhptir certain honorary titles are attached to the Sri B&stabs, such as : — 





The Eayasths of the district of Muzaffamagar are mostly of the Bhatn&gar 
clan. Those of Kayrftna state thalk they originally came from Barh when 
Kajpoots were ruling in Delhi, a perioa long ago assuredly (a.) 

The Gaurs are divided into two clans : — 

1. Gaur. I 2. Shim&ll Gaur. 

These can eat and drink together; but, as to marriage, a Gaur boy can 
marry a ShimSIi Gaur girl, not a Shim&li Gaur boy a Gaur girL Should 

eating it together, would both be expelled firom thdr seyeral castes. The pakkd khdndj which embraces 
sweatmeatB, most kinds of food, thoogh not all, cooked with ^At, and all dry food, is eaten by Hindus together 
indiscriminately, and, if they choose; with all their clothes on, and also without a previous laving of feet as 
well as of hands. 

{a) Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces, 1865, Appendix B, p. 8, 


the two latter break through their caste rules of propriety, and marry, their 
children rank not with the Gaurs, but with the Shimait Gaurs. This sub-caste 
originally came from Bengal. In the neighbourhood of Delhi some of the Graurs 
have formed alliances with BhatnUgar families : their children are called 
Shimili Gaurs. The Earans are found in numbers in Tirhftt, where they are 
employed as pdtwdris or village accountants. The habits and customs of 
the Sftraj Dhuj Kayasths are in many respects like those of Brahmans. 
Indeed, they presume to call themselves Brahmans. They are numerous in 
Delhi, where a division of the city is called by their name. 

In the district of Meerut, the Kayasths have secured for themselves a position 
as landed proprietors /a).* It is said that this tribe was the first among the Hindu 
races of India to acquire a knowledge of the Persian language under the Maho* 
medan emperors, and hence the importance to which they attained. 

The Amasht, Srt Bistab, and Earan clans, are numerous in Behar. There 
are some families also of the Bhatnllgar, M&thur, and SaksenS. clans. The Srt 
B^tabs are said to have come originally from Tirhftt. 

Eayasths are proprietors of many villages in the Cawnptir district. Not 
long since they held no fewer than forty-eight in the pargannah of Gh&tampftr ; 
and at one time they were the chief landed proprietors in the pargannah of 
Bhogntp&r Musanagar. 

Landed proprietors of this tribe have possessions in various parts of the 
district of Fathpftr. A short time ago they held twenty-seven separate estates 
in \he pargannah of Ekdillah alone. They had also seventeen in the Eotlah 

" Numerous members of the caste, " says Mr. P. Camegy, " rose to high 
places and honors under the kings of Oudh." He gives a list of the names of 
fifteen Rajas of the Eayasth tribe, who, he states, were the best known of those 
who rose to distinction. "The title of Raja," he adds, "which these men acquired, 
seems to have been for life only ; and the life-title has been recognized by the 
British Government in favor of Tej Erishan, the son of Raja B&l Erishan, the 
late Finance Minister of the ex-king. There is no Kayasth Taluqd&r with 
the title of Raja in the Viceroy's Durbar list, although there are seven others 
mentioned of less degree*' (6). 

In most of the pargannahs of the Ghazipiir district there are a few villages 

(a) Plowden's Census of the North- Western Frovluces, Appendix fi., p. 14. 
(5) Mr. F. Gamegy's Races of Oudh, p. 59. 


^^ belonging to communities of Kayasths, or L&las, of the families of the heredi- 
tary Qftniingoes, or superintendents of village records and accounts" (a). 

Mr. A. 0. Hume gives a singular instance of long proprietorship among 
the Kayasths of Etawah : — " Of the Kayasths, Chaudhrt Ganga Parshftd, of 
Bi^rhtdanna and Umri, Taluqdstr and Honorary Magistrate, still (with branches 
of his family) holds nearly the same villages they obtained in grant some six 
hundred and fifty years ago" (b). 

The Kayasths are numerous in Etawah. The Ayara family, belong- 
ing to the Saksena clan, occupies a conspicuous position among them. 
This family has been in Etawah from the death of Jai Chand, of Kanouj, 
and entered the service of Samersa, on his taking possession of Etawah. ^^Fok- 
har D&s and Nirmal DSs, his sons," says Mr. Hume, ^^ obtained from Samersa, or 
his son, the office of Chaudhri, and with it, as usual, a grant of several villages, 
many of which their descendants still hold. The office of Q&nAngo of Etawah is 
hereditary in this family ; and has always been held from Samersa's era up to 
the present time by some member of it." " Besides these," he adds, " there are 
the Chakwa and Farasna Kayasths, to whose family belonged the famous Raja 
Nawal Rai, whom the Nawab Bangash killed. These are Saksena Kiiarrai. 
Again, there are the Ek-dil Kayasths, Saksena, DtLsera, and others, whose ances- 
tors were one and all followers or servants of the Chauh&n Rajas, to whom they 
owed their estates still held by their descendants, as well as many others that 
have now passed into other hands" (cj. 

In the Etah district several Kayasth families have landed possessions. The 
Saksena, Srt B&stab) and Kul Sarisht clans, are all found in the district. 

The wealthiest landholders throughout the whole of the Fathpftr district 
belong to this tribe. They originally came from Hatgaon. 

The Kayasths are numerous in the Allahabad district. ^^They seem," 
says Mr. Ricketts, ^^ to have been the marked recipients of favor from the Maho- 
medan emperors." 

^^ The Q&nftngo-ships of several par^anna^^, and other possessions, were given 
to several families of Delhi Kayasths. There is one family of Kayasths in E^rrah, 
who are apostates to Mahomedanism. This was either to obtain or retain a 
Q&nftngo-ship. The Q&nftngo-ship is gone ; but they are still Mahomedans, 

(a) Memoirs of the Ghazipiir District, p. 45. 

(b) Census of the Norih-Westem Provinces for 1865; Mr. A. O. Home's Memonmdom, p« 82, 

(c) Mr. A. O. Hume*s Memorandum on the Oastea of Etawah, p. 87. 


though they retain the Eayasth customs as far as is compatible with their new 
religion" (a). Landed proprietors of this tribe are located in the Mirzapftr district. 

The Kayasths of Bengal. 

From the manuscript on Hindu Castes by Babu Kishori L&l, a native of the 
North- Western Provinces, I learn that there are four separate clans of Kayasths 
in Bengals^ the names of which are as foUows : — 

1. Kewas« 

2. Newas. 

3. Sirdatt. 

4. Abnl. 

For the correctness of this list, I am unable to vouch. It certainly does 
not agree with one which I have received from a respectable Bengali Eayasth 
of Benares. He states that the Bengali E^yasths are divided into eleven clans^ 
three of which are Eultn, and are of higher rank than the rest. 

1. Ghose, 

2. Bhose, > 

3. Mitr, J 

4. De. 

5. Datt. 

6. Kor. 


7. P&Ut. 

8. Sen. 

9. Singh. 
10. D&s. 
11- Guha. 

All these diflferent clans, including even the Kullns, intermarry ; and in 
that respect set a praiseworthy example to the Eayasth clans of the North- 
western Provinces. Many Bengali Eayasths are found in Benares, of whom 
a considerable number are Government officials retired on their pensions. 

Babu Ouru Das Mitra. 

The Bengali conununity in Benares is very large, amounting to not fewer 
than twenty thousand persons. At the head of it stands the Babu, whose name 
is given above. He is a Eayasth of Calcutta, and is a son of the late Babu 
Rajendra Mitra, formerly a leader of native society in Benares. The family 
dates its connection with the British in India as far back as about the year 1686^ 
when one of its ancestors, Govind Rfim Mitra, received an appointment from 

(a) Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865; Mr. Eieketts* Memorandum on the Tribes of 
Allahabad, Vol II., Appendix B., p. 130. 


Mr. Job Cbamock, the governor of the English factory at Calcutta, and settled 
in a district near the present fort called from that time to the present after 
him, Govindpftr. It is evident, from the records of the East India Company 
of the last century, that Govind B,km was for a long period a faithful and 
influential servant of the Company. When in 1756 the Nawab Sirfija Daulah 
plundered the English factory in Calcutta, Govind RS^m showed his loyalty by 
fighting against him, and, on occasion of the English residents being thrust into 
the Black Hole, Govind Rkm was seized and placed in confinement. After the 
battle of Plassey, in the next year, Govind R4m was appointed by the Company 
as Deputy Superintendent of the Police of Calcutta (a). 

Babu Rajendra Mitra, father of the present Babu, received a khilaty or 
robe of honor, from the Government in 1852, for the liberality and public 
spirit displayed by him ; and the Honorable Court of Directors specially noticed 
him in a Despatch of the 1st December of that year. Babu Guru D&s Mitra 
worthily maintains the honour of his house by his patriotism and loyalty. In 
the mutiny he nobly co-operated with the Government, in conjunction with the 
late Raja Sir Deo Narain Singh Bahadur, in endeavouring to quell the spirit 
of disa£Pection in Benares, and in afibrding substantial aid to the authorities. 
The Commissioner of Benares and Governor-General's Agent, thus wrote of 
him to the Government of India : — ^^ I have much satisfaction in stating that 
Babu Guru J)k& Mitra, son of the good Rajendra Mitra, has done all in his 
power during the mutiny to assist Government. He attended in person at the 
Mint on the night of the mutiny. He, during the following days, gave sup- 
plies for the troops ; he furnished six or seven horses, a palki- gurry (or coach), 
a number of carts, wheels — and, in short, as far as his ability extended, did all 
that he could to identify himself with the cause of Government" (6). On 
several occasions the Babu has made valuable benefactions to the city. His 
family belongs to the Gaur clan of Eayasths. 

(a) An Account of the late GoTind BAm Mitra and his Descendants, pp. 1^7 (printed for priyate 

(P) Ibid, p. 26. 








Thb Son&rs are goldsmiths, silyenmitbs, and jewellers. In Benares thej 
profess to derive their origin from the Kshatriyas. Some persons speak of 
them, however, as standing in a high position among the Sudra family. Tlie 
Mahratta SouSlt caste regards itself as allied to the Brahmans, and the sub- 
castes style themselves T7pa-BrahmanaS| or minor Brahmans (a). Whatever 
may have been the origin of the Son&rs, they are not now socially of higher 
rank than the Yaisyas, to which great family, as manufacturers and traders, 
they properly belong. They are said to have a peculiar language or dialect 
of their own. This statement, however, I have not had the opportunity to 

The Son&rs of Benares are divided into three tribes : — 


I. B&rah MtJ or twelve Boots. 
II. B&wan TAtl or fifty-two Boots, 
ni. B&ls MAI or twenty-two Roots. 

I shall only give a detailed account of the first, or B&rah MtH tribe. This 
is divided into twelve clans, as follows : — 

1. Rftmtulli of MmtuUi Ganj. 

2. Th&kur of Th&kur Ganj. 

(a) Wibon^s Glossaiy of Indian Terms, p. 488. 





3. Naugrahia of Naugrah. 

4. Phdl of Phfilwari. 

5. Aldemana of Aldeman. 

7. RSjghatia of Uajgh&t. 

8. Angaria of Anguri. 

9. Tftte of T&te Ganj. 

10. Phaphe of Phaphe Ganj. 

11. Nautakia of Nautake Ganj. 

12. Tandora of T&nde. 

The last, namely the Tandora clan, is again sub-divided into thirteen minor 
clans : — 

1. Singh Tandora of Singhpftr. 

2. Amlohiy& of AjuIo. 

3. Jhanjhiya of Jhftnjhl Tola. 

4. Sugyahair of Sugv&ri. 

5. Naktu, Naik of Naktu Ganj . 

6. Alona of Agra. 

7. Nujariya of Agra. 

8. Tahakhiya of Agra. 

9. Ghosiv&l of Ghosia. 

10. Eh&spM of Eh&spik. 

11. Purhia of Puraniya. 

12. Ghatkiya of Andhrt. 
IS. Purbl of Phftph&. 


This clan is connected with the Son&rs. Its occupation is peculiar. The 
refuse collected in the shops of goldsmiths and silversmiths, consisting of small 
particles of gold and silver, intermingled with dust and all sorts of rubbish, is 
purchased and carried away by the Ni&riya, who, with great care and diligence, 
separates the precious from the vile. This occupation is sufficiently remunera- 
tive to give employment to a distinct caste of Hindus. 


The Carpenter Caste, caUed also Kok&s. Although carpenters are frequently 
employed as blacksmiths, yet they form distinct castes, quite independent of one 


another. Both have the character of being hard-working, enterprising, and 
intelligent ; and are undoubtedly superior in many respects to most Hindus of 
their own rank in native society. As artizans, they exhibit little or no inven- 
tive power ; but in imitating the workmanship of others, they are, perhaps, 
unsurpassed in the whole world. They are equally clever in working from 

designs and models. 

The Barhai caste is said to be divided into seven clans ; but in reality it 
has many more. In Benares and its neighbourhood, there are the following : — 

1. Janeodhfi^rl. 

2. Kh&tl. 

3. Maghaiya. 

4. Kok&s. 

5. Setb&nd& R&meshwar. 

6. Eanoujea. 

7. Pargangiya. 

The Janeodh&rls eat no meat, wear the sacred cord (janeo), and regard them- 
selves as far superior to all the rest. They are said to come from the Do&b. The 
Khatls simply manufacture wheels. The Kok&s are from Delhi, and make chairs 
and tables. Those designated Setbftndfi. R&meshwar are manufacturers of puppets 
or dolls, with which they perform in public. They also have a character for beg- 
ging. They are therefore not a reputable branch of the caste. The clans nei- 
ther eat together, nor smoke together, nor intermarry. Mahomedans also work 
as carpenters, as well as Hindus. 

Sir Henry Elliot has given in his Glossary the names of other clans not 
found in this list, as KAka, Mahfir, T&nk, Uprautiya, Baman-Barhai or Mathuria, 
Ojha Gaur, and Cham&r Barhai (a). Eftka is, I suspect, intended for Eokfifi ; 
the Baman-Barhais and Ojha Gaurs are, probably, Brahmans employed as car- 
penters ; and the Chamftr-Barhais are undoubtedly Cham&rs. 

Widows are permitted to re-marry in this caste. 

The Khar&dl is a turner. The Hindustani word for to turn (by the lathe) 
is kharddnd. In addition to his usual occupation as a turner, which is shared, 
to some extent, by the Barhai or carpenter, he enjoys a monopoly in the manu- 
facture of wooden toys. The caste is not numerous. The Khar&dts are a very 
industrious and respectable class of artizans. They also bear the names of 
Kanair, Kundera, and Kundaira. 

(«) EIliot*fl Supplemental Glossarj, Vol. I., p. 56. 



The Blacksmith Oaste. Some of the members of the caste not only work 
in iron, but also labor as carpenters. Hindu blacksmiths are clever artizans? 
and in intelligence are far superior to most other tribes holding socially an 
equal rank with them. They are divided into seven clans as follows : — 

1. Kanoujea. 

2. Mahouliya. 

3. Sri B&stak. 

4. Mallik. 

5. Banarasiya. 

6. Chaurashd,. 

7. Purbiya. 

All these are found in Benares. None of them intermarry. I have also 
heard of other clans, such as — 

1. Maghaiya. 

2. Sinar. 

3. Mathuriya. 

The Loh&rs are popularly said to be descended from the Rishi or ancient 
sage, Yiskarma, and are consequently supposed to belong to this gotra. 


The Qalaigar is properly one who tins copper cooking utensils, by which 
process they are rendered safe and suitable for culinary purposes. But he also 
occasionally pursues the profession of a gilder. Both Hindus and Mahomedans 
follow the occupation of tin-men. It is a separate caste among the Hindus. 

__ • 

Sandhara or Barhlya. 

The Sandhara sharpens and cleans swords, knives, and all kinds of imple- 
ments of iron and steel. He is also a polisher and furbisher. The clan profess- 
es to have come originally from Marw&r, and to be related to the Bajpoots. 
Mahomedans who pursue the same avocation are called Sikligars, or more pro- 
perly Saiqalgars. Indeed, occasionally, Hindus themselves are likewise so 
styled. The caste also bears the designation of Barhlya. 


These are properly earthenware- vamishers. But as this occupation is, I 
suppose, insufficient for their maintenance, they unite to it that of carrying 
bricks on asses for erecting houses and walls. They are, consequently, in both 
respects intimately connected with the Eumh&r or Potter tribe. 


Tbey manufacture all kinds of earthen Tessels, 
general use. These are made bv the hand, and often 
genuity. Many of them, especially those duit are of 
<D, are made as follows. A large wheel is placed in an 
small and well-lubricated pivot fixed strongly into the 
of the wheel above the pivot, a quantity of prepared 
by means of a stick the wheel is made to revolve very 
ipetus is imparted to it to keep it in motion for several 
lelf down on the ground before the wheel, and stretching 
umhftr manipulates the revolving clay into the shape 
done so, separates it by means of a thin cord firom the 
e-commcQces the same operation, there being enough 
le manufacture of a dozen vessels or more. When the 
I, he places the stick in a hole near one of the spokes, 
:imes forcibly, sends it on again with its original speed, 
are burnt in a kiln. In addition to this employment, he 

Lr is derived from the Sanskrit Kumbhakdrd, kumbka 
The caste has seven sub-divisions : — 

5. €K>daihiya. 

6. Kasgar or Eastora. 

7. Chauh&nia Misr. 

>-ca6te8 are chiefly employed in making tiles and bricks. 
lay and earth on the backs of bullocks. The Godaihiyas 
tion, but on donkeys. The Easgars occupy themselves 
and plates on which food is eaten. They are sometimes 
!)hauh&aia Misrs claim to have been once Brahmans. 
8 partly of a Rajpoot, and partly of a Brahman origin, 
ell-known tribe of Rajpoots, and the Misrs being Brah- 
:. WheUier the claim of this clan is sound, is hard 

I most numerous castes inhabiting the North-Western 
ited that nearly half a million of Kumh^rs are scatterei] 


over its various districts, of whom upwards of sixty thousand are in Gorakhpdr 
alone. They are, for the most part, an industrious and well-conducted people. 

Kamangar and Tlrgar. 

Manufacturers of bows and arrows. Some of them practise the surgical 
art in the setting of fractured and dislocated limbs. They are found in several 
districts, but are a small community. 


The Hawaigars sell gunpowder and fireworks which they manufacture. 
They are very skilful in their art, so far as their knowledge extends, yet they 
bear no comparison with the firework-manufacturers of England. Many, per- 
haps most, of the clan are Mahomedans. 

The natives of India are passionately fond of fireworks of every description, 
and exhibit a strong predilection for those which produce a great and stunning 
report. At marriages and other important festivals, they chiefly gratify their 
taste in such matters. On occasion of a marriage in a family of position, the 
loud reports of the ham may be heard throughout the night, while fire-balloons 
are sent up, and fireworks are discharged at intervals. The bam produces a 
sound not unlike that of a cannon. It is a notorious fact that in the mutiny 
the first panic which occurred in one of the stations of the North-Western 
Provinces arose solely from the distant reports of the harmless bam at a mar- 
riage festival in a neighbouring village. 


The Dabgars are a low caste employed in the manufactore of large leathern 
vessels fw holding gfd^ or clarified butter, and of vessels in which atta and glue 
are deposited. They eat the flesh of goats. They are said to have no divisions 
in tiieir easte. The Dabgars form a considerable colony in CivwnpAr, and are 
found in small numbers in sevwal otiier districts. 

P€awacr Patahra. 

A tribe engaged in the manufacture and sale of ornaments, made of zinc 
and tin, and other inferior metals, worn by men and women, but chiefly by 
the latter. They also make trinkets of silk and silk cloth, edged with gold. 
More expensive omaiDeiits of olver, jgdd^ and jeWbiii, do nit fall i»ithin their 


province. Nevertheless, those they manufacture are of manifold kinds but 
cheap, and suited to the wants of the lower classes of the people. When it 
is borne in mind that every Hindu woman and girl, unless a widow, wears 
several ornaments, and commonly a great many, and that boys, and not a few 
men likewise, indulge in the same taste, it will be readily understood that the 
trade in these wares is immense. The clan has five sub-divisions, as follows : — 

1. KharewS.1, or Khandiw&l. 

2. Khard, or Khare. 

3. Deobansi. 

4. Laheri. 

5. Jogi Patw&. 

These are quite distinct from one another, and do not intermarry. 

The Patwas knit silken cords ; and in Behar, where silk is produced, many 
families are employed in weaving silk cloth, or silk and cotton mixed, or cotton 

The caste is found in most of the districts of these provinces, but generally 
in small numbers. There are upwards of a thousand in Benares. 


A caste of rope-makers. They also interlace charpoys, or native beds, 
with twine or fine rope. They belong to the districts of the Upper Doab (a). 


Chftri is a bracelet made of lac or sealing-wax, and worn round the arm 
by Hindu women. They wear usually many at a time painted with various 
colours. A custom prevails amongst them of decorating themselves with these 
ornaments at a certain season of the year. The chuH is very brittle, and easily 

The Chftrth&r is a manufacturer of churls^ and of all other articles made of 
lac. The principal manufacturer in Benares is exceedingly wealthy, and resides 
in a mansion known as Ch{lrthd,r-ki-kothi, situated near the M&n Mandil Observa- 
tory. He is very charitable, and gives what is called saddbartj or daily alms, con- 
sisting of rice and grain, to all beggars who apply, and distributes copper money 
on the eleventh day of the moon. 

(a) Mr. E. A. Readers Inferior Castes of the North- Western Proirmoes, p. 26. 



The Easeras are workers in kasa, a compound metal, and also in brass 
and copper, and in most other kinds of metal, including gold and silver, but 
excluding iron and tin. They manufacture utensils for domestic use, which in 
India, for the most part, are made of either copper or brass. They also, to 
some extent, manufacture ornaments to be worn on the person, many of which 
are either made entirely of one or other of these two metals, or of several 
metals compounded together. Women are exceedingly fond of wearing orna- 
ments made of a beautifully white compound metal, white as silver, yet much 

As artizans and traders, the Kasera caste occupies a high position. They 
are said to be above the Vaisya, or Commercial caste, and to hold a place between 
this and the Eshatriya caste. The reasons assigned for this opinion are, that 
the tribe in all its sub-divisions is more punctilious on many matters considered 
to be of importance by Hindus than the Vaisya or Sudra castes usually are, 
and that they all wear the sacred thread. This, however, is no sufficient reason 
for elevating them above the Vaisyas, to which family they naturally belong. 
They are divided into seven clans : — 

1 . Purbiy a. 

2. Pachhaw&n. 

3. Gorakhpftri. 

4. Tank. 

5. TfincharA. 

6. Bharly&. 

7. Golar. 

None of these intermarry or eat together. The four first sub-divisions are 
names given to such Easeras as have emigrated from those parts of the country 
to which they refer. The Purbiyas are from the east, the PachhawA.ns from 
the west ; the Gorakhpftrls from the district of Gorakhpiir ; and the Tanks, 
most probably, from the principality of Tonk. 

This tribe is very numerous in the city of MirzapQr, where a considerable 
trade is carried on in brass wares. The Easeras manufacture all kinds of brass 
utensils, which are sent to distant parts of the country for sale. 


The Thatheras are distinct from the Easeras, although, to some extent, 
they labor in the same metals. Yet their work is of a heavier and rougher 
cast, and embraces iron, tin, and zinc, as well as brass, copper, and kasa. They 



also canre the vessels manufactured by the Kaseras. It is very difficult to draw 
an exact line between the two castes ; for in some respects they pursue the same 
qi^lling. Nevertheless, they keep themselves entirely apart, and do not permit 
&mily alliances with one another. 


The workers in brass, iron, and other metals, in some cases, but not in all, 
make moulds and cast their own vessels. The Bhariya caste is specially 
engaged in the occupation of preparing moulds, of various shapes and kinds, 
for casting vessels. The Bhariyas, although connected by their avocation with 
the That^eras and Kaseras, are, nevertheless, a distinct caste, and do not inter- 
o^ wiU. eiAer. 

• . . Odhiya. 

A caste of iron smelters and workers in iron. They are looked down upon 
and deqpised by many castes, for what reason, I am unable to say. The caste 
embraces a small community, and inhabits the Allahabad province and the 
country to the south (a). 

(a) Mr. E. A. Beade'i Inferior Castes of the North- Western FroTinoes, p. 82. 






Thb great agricultural class of India is known by various designations 
appertaining to different localities. One of the most extensive tribes of cultivators 
is the Kumbhi, otherwise called Eumbht, Kunbi, and Eurmi, which is found 
over a large portion of Hindustan proper, and in Central India. To the west, 
however, its numbers greatly diminish. 

As tillers of the soil the Kumbhis are industrious and plodding. They have 
neither the energy nor ability for hard labour exhibited by husbandmen in 
England. Nevertheless, they have great powers of endurance, and are of indo- 
mitable perseverance. As a class they are, I am inclined to think, higher in 
the social scale, as compared with the rest of the community, than the corre- 
sponding class in England. Not that they are better educated, or indeed so well 
educated, or more intelligent ; but they certainly command higher respect and 
consideration from other people than the labouring classes of England. Again, 
while the cultivator in India receives much smaller wages than the cultivator in 
England (a), yet he is really as well off. His wants are few, and food is cheap. 
There is, I believe, less of grinding poverty among this class in India than is seen 
in the same class at home. Of course, should the rains fail, and famine, or even 
scarcity, appear — and one or other is, alas, but too frequent — not only fearful 
and widespread want, but also appalling mortality, are the result. 

(a) The ordinarj wages of a hiubandman in India are about two rupees and a hal^ or fiye shillings, per 
month. A few maj receive three rupees, but more reoeire onlj two. Manj labourers are paid in kind, and 
rarelj handle money at all. 


The Eumbhis are distinguished from the Koerls, as the latter are frequently 
gardeners as well as husbandmen. Socially, they are on an equality, which is 
hardly the case with similar classes in England. They are, however, totally 
distinct, and have no more intercourse with one another, though living side by 
side, than Frenchmen and Englishmen. But it is almost needless to make an 
observation of this nature, seeing that the same spirit of separation and exclusive- 
ness holds good with all the castes, and of a multitude of sub-castes like- 
wise, which are virtually distinct nationalities. In the cultivation of the fields, 
and in tending cattle, the women work as hard as their husbands. I have never 
seen them ploughing, but they perform all other kinds of field labour. 

The sub-divisions of this caste are numerous. Seven is the standard number, 
however ; but the details are not the same in any two places. In Benares there 
are the following : — 

1. Athariya. 

2. Ghorcharhd.. 

3. JaiswftrS.. 

4. Gujer&tl. 

5. PatarghichS.. 

6. Patariya. 

7. Channan-n&ii. 

These do not intermarry or eat tQgether. In Mirzapftr I heard of two 
others : — 

1. Mahtau. 

2. Manw&r. 

These are said to intermarry with the Channan-nS,{l clan. Sir H. Elliot 
has given additional information concerning this caste. He speaks of the 
Jhtlnaiya clan, to the west of the Upper Jumna, and of other divisions of the 
tribe : " as the Singraur and Chaparya of the Lower Do&b ; the Jharl of Nagpftr, 
the Ghameta, Samsawar, Kachisa, and Chandani of Behar ; the Saithawar, 
Putanawar, Atharya, Chunanaun, and Akharwar, of Gorakhpiir and Benares ; 
the Bawat, Jadon, Bharti, Eattiar, and Gangwart of Bohilkhand. These also 
have no communion of food or marriage." He adds, " there are several 
Kurmis, or Kumbis, among the Marattas ; and the Gwalior, as ^ell as the Satara, 
families are of that stock "(a). He is, I think, in error in placing the Kewats 
among the sub-divisions of this caste. 

(a) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., pn. 156,7. 


This tribe occupies clusters of villages in the Budaon district ; but tkey are 
not found there in great numbers. 

In the province of Behar, there are, on the authority of Buchanan, the 
following clans, Magahi, forming one half of the whole, Ghameta, Ayudhiya, 
Samsawar, Yasawar (or Jaiswd.ra), Kachisa, Chandani, and Desi, which last is a 
spurious race. 

In some parts of the country members of this caste have large possessions in 
land. In the year 1848, out of thirty-eight estates of which the pargannah of 
Dh&t& in the Fathpftr district was composed, no fewer than twenty-seven were in 
the hands of the Kumbhis, there called Kftrmis ; which circumstance, it was 
rightly conjectured, was the chief cause of the thriving condition of that par- 
gannah. In the Jalaun district they are a very useful people, engaged in 
agriculture, but hold no influential position. They are very old inhabitants of 
some parts of Gorakhpftr. 

The Kumbhis are found in great numbers in the country about Chun&r. 
They came from Jainagar and other places, to the east. A few are landholders, 
but most are cultivators. 


This tribe is also called MArfto, but it is most commonly spoken of in this 
neighbourhood by the term Koerl. These and the Kumbhis are the great agri- 
cultural classes of these provinces. Many other castes, more or less, are 
employed in the cultivation of the soil. Indeed, every Hindu, however humble 
his station, likes to have his plot of ground, which himself or his wife and 
children, or other relations, or in default of them, some of his friends, may cul- 
tivate. Property in land is considered by the people generally, of every rank 
and caste, to be the safest and most satisfactory mode of investing money, little or 
much, notwithstanding the heajVy tax upon the soil. The Koerls and Kumbhis 
are agriculturists by profession, and, perhaps, least of all the castes, have 
suffered themselves to be diverted from their own proper occupation. 

Both these classes are very laborious in their habits; on which account, and 
also for their general peaceableness, they have secured the respect of all the 
other castes. While both are engaged in the cultivation of the land, the main 
distinction between them — for they are quite separate as tribes — is, that a con- 
siderable number of the Koerls are vegetable gardeners. They have immense 
gardens in the vicinity of cities and towns, which are supplied by them with 
various kinds of vegetables. 


The Koerls are the principal growers of poppy^ and producers of opium, 
both in Benares and Behar. At Hindu marriages a custom universally prevails 
of placing a high crown, called maur^ made partly of leaves and flowers, on the 
head of the bridegroom, and a smaller one called mauH^ on the head of the bride. 
It is said that no wedding can take place without these crowns. They are made 
by the gardeners, who receive a considerable price for them, according to the 
circumstances of the parties. 

This tribe has seven sub-divisions, which are not the same everywhere. 
Indeed, were all that exist to be numbered up, they would, it is likely, amount 
to as many as twenty, or even thirty. The seven known in Benares are as 
follows : — 

1. Kanoujea. 

2. Hardiya. 

3. Illahabftd!. 

4. Brijb&st. 

5. Korl. 

6. Purbihft. 

7. Dakhinah&. 

All these are found in Benares except the Korts. These sub-castes do not 
intermarry or eat together. In MirzapAr I heard of others : 

1. N&r&lgana. 

2. Ban&rasiya. 

3. Kachw&hft. 

The second class, as their name denotes, are evidently immigrants from 
Benares. Others are given by Sir H. Elliot in his Supplemental Glossary. In 
Ghazipftr, in addition to some of the above are these clans : 

1. Torikoriya. | 2. Bardw&r. 

The Koeris, Buchanan says, are of four clans, Kanoujea, Jarakar, Chiramait, 
and Bharu. 

The Koerts are numerous in the district of Jh§,nsi, where they pursue the 
occupation of weaving. Their tradition is, that they came from Benares about 
seven hundred years ago. They manufacture khdrua and other cotton goods. 


The K&chhis are, like the Kumbhis, cultivators. The pursuits of both, 
so far as I have been able to ascertain, are much the same, and yet perhaps the 


Eftchhls are more frequently employed as gardeners than the other class. 
They are a peaceable and industrious people. Some of them are artizans. 

The K&chhts state that they have seven clans ; but in reality they have 
more than this number. Sir H. Elliot enumerates the following : Eanoujiya, 
Hardiha, Singrauriya, Jaunpiiriya, Bamhaniya or Magahya, Jarelha, Kachh- 
w&h&, Dhakolya, Sakhsena, and Sachan (a). These clans do not associate 
together or intermarry. In Behar the E&chhis are largely engaged in the 
cultivation of the poppy. This tribe is found in many of the districts of these 
provinces, and is very numerous. 

The K&chhts of Lallatpiir are divided into four clans, as follows: 1 
Kachhwftha ; 2 Saloriya ; 3 Hardiya ; 4 Amwar. 

The E&chhis of Jh&nst claim to be descended from the KachhwUhft Raj- 
poots ; and affirm that their ancestors came from Narwar a thousand years ago. 


An agricultural caste, many members of which reside in the Bhadohl par- 
gannah of the Mirzaptlr district. There are a few also in Benares. 


A class of cultivators found in small numbers in various districts, especially 
to the north of the Jumna. They are also employed as watchmen (b ). 


A smaU agricultural caste found chiefly in Tuppeh Upraudh of the Mirza- 
pftr district, where they are reputed to have sprung from the Gujars of Gujer&t. 
They are also met with on the banks of the Jumna. A few inhabit the district 
of Gorakhpftr. 


Although many Koerls are employed as gardeners, yet they are more 
especially what are termed in England market-gardeners, while the M&U is the 
general gardener. He lays out gardens, plants fruit-trees, sows flower-seed, and, 
in fact, performs the various duties of a garden containing fruits, flowers, and 
vegetables. The word is derived from the Sanskrit md/, a wreath. 

(a) Supplemental Glossary, Vol. L, p. 145. 

(6) Mr. E. A. Eeade's Inferior Castes, &c., p. 80« 


In laying out a flower garden, and in arranging beds, the M&It is exceed- 
ingly expert. His powers in this respect are hardly surpassed by gardeners 
in England. He lacks of course the excellent botanical knowledge of many 
English gardeners, and also the peculiar skill displayed by them in grafting and 
crossing, and in watching the habits of plants. Yet in manipulative labour, 
especially when superintended by a European, he is, though much slower in 
execution, almost, if not quite, equal to gardeners at home. 

According to Buchanan, the MS^lis are divided into the following clans : 

1. Magahi. 

2. Sirmaur. 

3. BanarasivH. 

4. Kanoujiya. 

5. Baghel. 

6. Eahauliya. 

7. Desi. 

The tribe permits the re-marriage of widows. " One Arjun, a man of this 
caste,'' says Mr. P. Carnegy, " rose to the honorary distinction of Raja under 
the kings of Oudh, and thereafter added Singh to his nadie (a). '' 

In Ihe Bijnour district the Sani caste is said to be the same as the M&li 
caste. The Sanl is spoken of as a first-rate gardener, florist, and vegetable 
grower. M&lls are found in many parts of the North- Western Provinces. 
They have been known to be in the Mor&dab&d district for several hundred 
years past. Some of them are reputed to have come originally from Ajudhiya 
and Lucknow. 

In some places M&lts are employed as vaccinators, and prescribe medicine to 
persons attacked with small-pox. Such M&lis are called Darshaniyas. 


The Gandhrts and the Mftlls were formerly one clan, but they have 
become gradually distinct classes, so that now there is no intermarriage 
between them, and they are really separate clans. The Gandhri no longer devotes 
himself to the general duties of a gardener, but is exclusively engaged in the 
preparation of perfumes from flowers. These he extracts by various processes. 
The manufacture of the Otto of Roses calls forth his highest powers. It is, 
however, very remunerative, and well re-pays his utmost skill. 

(a) Mr. p. Carn^Qr^t Races of Oudb, p. 92. 



A small and humble caste of cultivators principally engaged in the growth 
and sale of vegetables. They are hard-working and industrious* The caste is 
found in the districts to the east of Oudh (a). 


The R&ngars are, to some extent, an agricultural class. Some of them 
have been employed as sepoys. They are numerous in Shekawatl and the 
Bhattl territory. Colonies of the caste are found in the Upper Doab and 
Kohilkhand (5). They have, as a class, the reputation of being turbulent and 
disorderly. Some of them have embraced the Mahomedan faith. 


A low caste of cultivators. They are also employed as servants. The caste 
is found to the east of Oudh {c). 


This is a very numerous and wealthy tribe in Benares, exclusively devoted 
to the sale of pavm^ a condiment eaten by natives of all classes, Hindu and 
Mahomedan. Fawn is an aromatic plant cultivated on an extensive scale in 
various parts of the country. It is a creeper, and grows much like the vine, 
needing poles for its support. Its leaves are gathered while fresh and green, 
and are in this condition brought to the shops for sale. No other portion of the 
plant is eaten. But the leaves are never eaten alone. The Barayl, or pawn- 
seller, puts in each leaf a little catechu, part of a betel-nut, and a small quantity 
of moistened chalk. The leaf is then folded neatly into the shape of an 
equilateral triangle, and kept firm by the insertion of a clove into the over- 
lapping edges. Half-a-dozen of such folded leaves are sold for one pice (a 
fraction over a third of a penny) in the open bazars of Benares. Sometimes 
cardamums, dried cocoa-nut, and other ingredients, are added to impart delicacy 
to the flavour, while at the same time some of those just mentioned are 
diminished* The leaf with its contents, just as sold, is chewed by the natives, 
and it is surprising how passionately fond they all are of it. If they can afford 

(a) Mr. E. A. Reade*8 Inferior Castes of the North- Western Froyinces, p. 80. 
(V) 7&iVi,p. 21. 
(c) i5i(^p.27. 



to do SO, they will eat it from momiog to night ; even young children will eat it 
with great apparent relish. Europeans, for the most part, abhor it ; and it is 
difficult to understand how the natives so universally enjoy its strong aromatic 
and astringent flavour, for the taste for such a compound is certainly not natural 
to any one. Fawn is undoubtedly an excellent stomachic, and imparts a consider- 
able stimulus to the digestive organs. Yet the inordinate degree in which it is 
indulged must be injurious to the system. The strain upon the salivary glands 
of those who are constantly chewing it cannot but be prejudicial to those 
organs. The gums of the jaws in appearance are powerfully affected, and being 
dyed a yellowish red by the mixture in the mouth, are somewhat disgusting 
to look upon. 

This tribe has manv sub-divisions. 

1. Chaurasiya. 

2. Jaisw&ra. 

3. Sri Bfistak. 

4. BherihSrd. 

5. Tamouli. 

6. Magaihiya. 

7. Nasalkdni. 

8. Phuhlh&ra. 
9. Dhanwariya. 

All these are in Benares : none of them intermarry or eat together. The 
Tamoulis are few in number on the Benares side of the Ganges; but are very 
numerous on the opposite side. The pawn-sellers are scattered all over the 
city and suburbs. They are, however, chiefly found in the Aarungfibftd, 
Silrajkund, and Misrpokra districts, where some of them reside in large and 
splendid mansions. They have a bazar, called Dartbd, near Siirajkund, specially 
devoted to the sale of pawn. 


This clan is also engaged in the manufacture and sale of pawn^ yet has no 
family connexion or intercourse with the Barayt clan, but keeps itself entirely 
distinct from it. The Tambolt sells betel-nut as well as pawn ; and appears to be 
more of a wholesale trader than the Barayi. Some of the Tambolts have 
extensive gardens for the production of the pawn-leqf. It is singular that the 
BarajfU and Tambolls should be so distinct as castes, and yet should be so closely 
connected in their trade and occupation. 

It is questionable whether there is any real difference in the occupation of 
the TamboU and Barayi castes. Mr. E. A. Reade, in his " Inferior Castes of the 
North- Western Provinces," says that the Barayis are growers, and the Tambolts 


sellers of pawn. But this is certainly not a correct statement respecting the 
two castes in Benares, as both in that city are manufacturers and sellers. 

In the North- Western Provinces no fewer than one hundred and thirteen 
thousand persons are engaged in the trade in pawn (a). Upwards of forty thou- 
sand of these are in the district of Gorakhpiir. 

(a) Report of the Census of the North-Westem Provinces for 1865, Vol. 11., p. 26. 





This is a very extensive tribe of herdsmen scattered over a large portion 
of India. In Benares and its neighbourhood it is chiefly confined to two clans, 
GwM Bans and Dharor, which are restricted to rearing cattle. Whether such 
a restriction exists in other parts of India, I am unable to say ; but there is 
reason to believe that, in earlier times, when the Ahtrs were held in greater 
consideration than they are at the present day, the tribe was as much a race 
of shepherds as of keepers of cattle. 

The word Ahlr is contracted from Abhtra. Now if this be the caste 
referred to by Manu, in his Institutes, it follows that the Ahlr is three-fourths 
a Brahman, and one-fourth a Yaisya (a). The Ahtrs practise the custom of 
some other castes in regard to the marriage of younger brothers with the 
widows of elder brothers. 

Formerly, the pargannah or barony of Ahrorft, in the Mirzapdr district, 
was called Ahirw£lra, or the country of the Ahlrs ; and it is probable that it 
was, to a large extent, if not exclusively, in the hands of this tribe. The 
Ahtrs are found " in great numbers," says Sir Henry Elliot, " in the southern 
parts of the Dehli territory, from RewS^rt, on the borders of Mew&t, to the 
Bikantr frontier, in a tract of country known under the name of Btghoto. A 
dense population of Ahtrs (Ttklewala) will also be found in a line extending 
from the K&la Nadt, in the neighbourhood of Marehrah^ to near Bibameyu on 
the Jumna ; and from Saltmpftr Majhault in Gorakhpdr to Singrauli in 

(a) Manii, X, 8, 15. 


MirzapAr" (a). The investigations conducted by Sir Henry into the distribution 
of this tribe were very extensive. Respecting their origin, he remarks, " The 
Ahirs of these Provinces all trace their origin to MathurS., or places a little 
to the west of it. There appear to be three grand divisions amongst them : 
the Nandbans, the Jadubans, and Gwd^lbans, which acknowledge no connexion, 
except that of being all Ahlrs. Those of the Central Do&b usually style them- 
selves Nandbans ; those to the west of the Jumna and the Upper Do&b, Jadu- 
bans ; and those in the Lower DoHb and Benares, Gw&lbans. The latter seem 
to have no sub-divisions, or Gots. The principal Gots of the Nandbans are, 
SamarphallS., Eishnaut, BhagtS,, Bilehnia, DiswS^r, Nagowa, Kanaudha, D(^nr, 
B&wat, Tengiirea, Kor, Kamaria, Barausia, Mftjw&r, Dahima, Nirban, Eharkart, 
Dirhor, Sltolia, Jarwaria, Barothl, Gonda, and Fh&tak ; amounting in all to 
eighty-four. In Blghoto, besides many of these, there are the Molak, S&ntoria, 
Khosia, Khallia, Lonlwal, Aphariya or Aphiriya, Maili, Mhailft, Khoro, Sesotia, 
Gandw&l, Gird, Bh&msard., J&njaria, KS^nkauria, and Nigd^nia ; amounting in all 
to sixty- four (b). " He adds, that the first in rank among these are the Khoros, 
a position, however, which is disputed by the Aphiriyas. Of the last two clans, 
many, it seems, are Mahomedans. 

Respecting the history of the tribe, the same accurate and careful writer 
states the following. " This pastoral tribe, of the Yadubansi stock, was form- 
erly of much greater consideration in India than it is at present. In the 
R&mayana and Mah&bhfi.rat the Abhtras in the West are spoken of ; and in the 
Puranic Geography, the country on the western coast of India, from the Taptl to 
Devagarh, is called Abhira, or the region of Cowherds. When the K^ttls 
arrived in Gujer&t, in the eighth century, they found the greater part of the 
country in possession of the Ahlrs. The name of Aslrgarh, which Ferishta 
and the ** Khaz&na Amira" say is derived from Asa Ahlr, shows that the tribe 
was of some importance in the Dekkan also ; and there is no doubt that we have 
trace of the name in the Abira of Ptolemy, which he places above Patalene. 
Ahlrs were also at one time Rajas of Nepal, at the beginning of our era ; and 
they are perhaps connected with the P&la, or shepherd dynasty, which ruled 
in Bengal from the ninth to the latter part of the eleventh century, and which, if 
we may put trust in monumental inscriptions, were for some time the universal 
monarchs of India" (c). 

(a) ElIiot*B Sapplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 3. 

(b) 7WJ, Vol. L, pp. 3, 4. 

(c) Ibid, Vol. L, pp. 2, 3. 


la Benares and its neighbourhood the names of only a few clans have 
reached me, such as : 

1. Gw&l Bans. 

2. Channan-na(^. 

3. Dharor. 

4. Dhengar. 

5. Gaddl. 

6. Ghosl. 

7. Krishanot. 

8. Majrot. 

9. Churiya. 

None of these intermarry or eat together. The Ghosls are chiefly, and 
the Gaddls are partly, Mahomedans. From the Gw&l Bans clan all will drink 
water. The Ahlrs not only rear cattle, but also make butter and curds, which 
they sell together with milk. Some of them are tradesmen ; and some are 

The Ahlrs of Meerut are supposed to be an intermediate tribe between the 
JS^ts and the Gdjars. The three smoke and drink together. They are said 
to have come thither from Riwd^ri as far as Gurgaon and the hill country of the 
Dekhan. The famous Fort of Asirgarh (fort of Aslr) is believed to have ori- 
ginally belonged to ' Aslr,' a chief of the clan ; hence the term Asir or Ahlr. 
The Ahlrs follow the same occupation of herdsmen as the G(^jars, but differ from 
them in being more industrious and less troublesome and turbulent (a). 

Commonly, the Ahlrs are regarded as Sudras. In the Bhagwat Pur&na, 
Nand Ahlr is spoken of as a Vaisya. The tribe has been in the Bijnour 
district for a very long time. In the Budaon district this clan has acquired 
considerable influence and wealth by reason of its enterprise and energy. It 
has extensive landed possessions in the pargannafis of E&jpilirah and Asadpil^r. 
They came from H&nsi and Hissar, whence they were driven out some seven 
hundred years ago. 

The district of Bareilly was foimerly a dense jungle inhabited by a race 
of Ahlrs or herdsmen, and hence called Tappa Ahiran. In the time of Timtir, 
the Ahlrs becoming turbulent and disorderly, two Hindu chiefs, Raja Kharak 
Singh and Bai Hari Singh, of Tirhiit, were despatched by the emperor to 
reduce them to order. In this they succeeded so well, and so satisfactorily to 

(a) Plowden*B Report of the Census of the North* Western Provinces -for 1865, Appendix B., Mr. 
Forbes' paper on the Castes of Meenit, p. 14. 


themselves, that they not only quelled the rebellion of the Ahlrs, and routed 
tlieir forces, but took possession of the country, as far as Chaupala, now called 
Mor&dabS^d, on the one side, and Powain and Kharal, in what is now the dis- 
trict of Shfi,hjah&npftr, on the other, where some of their descendants are still 
found (aj. 

Dr. Buchanan says of the Ahlrs of GorakhpAr, " that they possess the 
exclusive right of milking the cow ; so that, on all occasions, for this purpose 
an Ahlr must be hired, even by the low tribes. All people, however, may 
prepare the cow's milk, and may milk the buffalo. The Ahlrs are also much 
employed to show game, as they are well acquainted with the forests. Many 
are employed as carters, in bringing timber from the woods ; a few are engaged 
in trade. On the day of the DiwMi (a festival in honour of Lakshmi, the god- 
dess of wealth), they eat tame pork ; and on all occasions, such as are not of 
the sect of Vishnu, eat the wild hog" (6). In most places only the very low- 
est castes will eat the domestic pig. In the Aurangabad Nagar pargannah of 
this district, the Ahlrs and Gautam Rajpoots are the prevailing castes. 

A wealthy family of Ahlrs has possession of a jaghire or large estate in 
Hassanpiir Maghar of the Gorakhpftr district, originally given to it on condition 
that it should keep the adjacent forests free from depredators. 

The flourishing town of Balah, in the GhazipAr district, and several 
villages in its neighbourhood, are in the hands of a clan of this tribe. Some of 
their ancestors, in the time of the Mahomedan emperors, embraced Islamism. 
Their descendants disavow their Hindu origin, and style themselves Shaikhs (c). 
In this district Ahlrs are chiefly found in the centre and west, and also to the 
south of the Ganges. They are mostly Gw&l-Bansls and Dharors. For gener- 
ations past they have been notorious as cattle-stealers. 

Ahlrs together with G6jars and J4ts were among the earliest known 
settlers in the district of ShS,hjah&npftr, The traditions of those occupying the 
Agra district show that they originally came from HariS^na. They have been in 
that part of the country for several hundred years. Some of the Ahlr land- 
owners of Pargannah Fyzabfild claim to be descended from an Ahlr Raja of 
Berat Another account is, that they were settled there by Raja Chandra Sen. 

(a) Gensns of the North- Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., p. 48. 
(h) Statistical Memoirs of the Ghazipnr District, p. 45. 

(c) Report of the Census of the North- Western Provinces for 1865, Appendix B., MemoraDdnm hy 
Mr. P. S. Qrowse, p. 75. 



This is a numerous tribe in the Mainpdrt district, where some are pro- 
prietors of considerable estates. They are chiefly found in the two pargannahs 
of ShikoabS.d and Mustafab&d. The following is a list of their clans : 










Jiwariya or 















Gaindua or Gadua. 









With the exception of the Ph&taks, all the rest are of the Nandbansi 
division of Ahlrs (a). The Kamariyas occupy fifty-seven villages in two 
pargannahs of the district. One of these, Painhat, is famous for a festival 
held there in honor of two heroes, a Brahman and an Ahir. 

The PhS^tak Ahlrs possess twenty-one villages in ShikoabM. Mr. Growse 
gives the following account of their origin derived from themselves : " There 
was a Baja of Chittore of the Sisodiya line of Bajpoots, commonly designated 
the Kateri Kana. His capital was attacked by the King of Delhi ; and of the 
twelve gates of the city, one only held out. Therefore, when the invading 
army had retired, the Raja decreed that the guard of the twelfth gate and their 
descendants should ever thereafter be distinguished by the name of PhUtak. 
They profess to be actually descended from this Rana by a marriage with the 
daughter of I)igp§.l, Raja of Mahaban, an Ahtr ; and they are accordingly 
reckoned among the Ahirs" (a). 

According to the last Census, there were in 1865 upwards of sixty thousand 
Ahlrs scattered about the district of Etah. The tribe has been there for many 
centuries, yet came originally, it is said, from Mathur&, or the country further 
west The families are chiefly of the Nandbansi and Yadubansi races. 

Ahlrs are numerous in some parts of the Gorakhpi!ir district, where they 
settled on account of the excellent herbage which the land supplied. 

According to the last Census there are upwards of two millions of Ahlrs 
in these Provinces alone (5). 

(a) Report of the Census of the North- Western FroTinces for 1865, Vol. I., Memorandnm by Mr. 
F. S. Growse, p. Vs. 

(h) Jbid, Vol. n., p. 25. 


The Abhars of Agra and Etawah are most probably the same as the Ahlrs 
of other districts. The two words have evidently the same root. The Abhars 
are courageous and athletic^ and are said to be good cultivators (a). 

The Ahir s of the Agorl pargannah of the Mirzapdr district are termed 



This tribe is most probably connected with the Ahlrs already noticed, 
although they will by no means acknowledge any relationship to them. What- 
ever may have been their origin, there is no question that now they are a 
separate caste. Yet their claim to be descended from the Yadubansts' is the 
same as that put forward by the Ahlrs. The latter contend that they are the 
posterity of Krishna himself, and state that the Ahars are only the children of 
the cowherds of Krishna (J). 

The caste is very numerous in the district of MorS,d&bS.d, where it has 
existed from time immemorial. There is a tract of country to the west of the 
E&mgangd. called Ahar&t, extending into a portion of Rohilkhand. According 
to Sir H. Elliot, the clans designated as Bhattl, NagHwat, Naugorl, Ri!ikar, 
B&sian, Ora, BukiS,in, Diswir, BhMMn, and Birraria, belong to this tribe {c). 


The Shepherd Tribe. They rear sheep and goats, but not cattle, which 
are in the hands of the Ahlrs, another tribe. There is a striking difference 
subsisting between Hindu and English shepherds in their treatment of sheep. 
The latter are rough and harsh as compared with the former, and allow their 
flocks to be frightened and distressed by the furious barking of their watch-dogs. 
The Hindu, on the contrary, is a model of gentleness in attending to his charge, 
but, nevertheless, trains them to docility just as effectively. Without noise, or 
bluster, or angry dog, he keeps them under perfect control ; and in removing 
them from one field to another, he goes before, and they follow. 

The custom of a younger brother marrjing the widow of an elder brother 
prevails in this tribe. But it is by no means peculiar to it The J&ts, Giijars, 
Khatiks, CThamftrs, DhMas, Ahlrs, Bhars, Julfthirs, and Dhunias, all practise 

(a) Inferior Castes of the North-Westem FroTiiices, by Mr. K A. Reade, p. 13. 

(b) Elliot's Glossary, Vol L, p. 6. 

(c) Ibid^ p. 7. 

D— 2 


it. The elder brother is not, I understand, permitted to marry the widow of a 
younger brother. 

The Garariyas are professedly divided into seven clans, but acknowledge 
several others* In Benares the seven are as follows : 

1. Dhengar. 

2. Nlkhar. 

3. Jaunpftrl. 

4. niahab&dt. 

5. Bakarkasau. 

6. Namd&wdle« 

7. Chikwft. 

None of these intermarry. The first four clans keep sheep and goats, not 
so the remaining three. They also manufacture blankets. The Bakarkasau and 
Namdd,w&le clans do so likewise. The Chikwds are Mahomedans. I have 
also heard of two other clans of Garariyas in this neighbourhood, namely : — 

1. Bharariya. | 2. Baikat&. 

Bharariya is evidently derived from bher, a sheep. Nevertheless, this clan 
is not employed in tending sheep, but in other kinds of labour. The Baikatas 
are the lowest in rank among the Garariyas. They live by begging scraps of 
hair from the other dans that keep flocks, and selling the proceeds. This is 
their sole occupation. A few only of this class reside in Benares; they are, for 
the most part, found in country districte. In addition to these sub-castes, others 
are mentioned by Sir Henry ElUot, as Tasselha or Pachhade, Chak, Bareiya, 
Faihwar, and Bhaiyatar (a). 

This tribe is spread over the whole of these Provinces, but seems to be 
most numerous in the country between Allahabad and Farakhab&d. In some 
places they have resided from time immemorial. In the Agra district their sub- 
divisions are manifold, and keep themselves distinct from one another. 

There are upwards of twenty thousand members of this tribe in the dis- 
trict of Etah, where they are divided into the following clans : 

1. Nlkhar. 

2. Tasahla. 

3. Pachftdl. 

4. Chak DhSnjarl. 

5. Barya. 

6. Bhiatar E&lar. 

A tribe engaged in rearing and training camels. 

(a) £lliot*0 Sapplemental Qlossoiy, Vol. I., p. 120. 







This tribe is partly employed in agriculture ; but its chief occupation 
throughout a great portion of these Provinces is that of carrying palankeens. 
Indeed, the word Kah&r is said to be a contraction of Kandhftr, from Kandha^ a 
shoulder. The Eah&r is properly a palankeen-bearer, both amongst natives and 
Europeans. In many places, it is impossible to obtain other persons for the 
purpose. On which account, as the caste holds a monopoly of this kind of 
employment, it is apt to be very exacting in the rate charged for carrying people. 
But the Government has fixed an uniform rate for all palankeen-bearers whom 
it may employ, which is observed also by the public generally. Eahftrs are 
likewise employed as house-servants, in the capacity of Bearers. They are the 
highest caste of Hindus that can usually be obtained for such service. Other 
Hindus so employed are, for the most part, of a lower grade, not recognized at all 
as Sudras ; whereas Eah&rs are considered to occupy a fair position in the great 
Sudra family. 

This caste, I understand, bears the name of Eamkar in Patna and through- 
out the country in that direction. It numbers professedly seven clans ; but the 
accounts are very conflicting, and it will appear from the following list that more 
than a dozen exist. 




Gonr or Crond. 






















Baradiya (firom Fyzabad). 




The Gonrtd. is not to be confounded with the Gonr, although they are in 
name so much alike. The Gonrs are employed in roasting grain for the market ; 
and also in breaking stones. They are likewise palankeen -bearers. Their name 
is also spelt Gond, the d and r in Hindi being the same letter. Whether they 
are connected in any way with the great aboriginal tribe of Gonds extending for 
hundreds of miles through Central India, is hard to say. The name is the same, 
and it is by no means impossible that the Hinduized Gonds of Benares and else- 
where may, at some remote period of Indian history, have separated themselves 
from the aboriginal stock. Further investigation might throw light on the subject. 

The Dhurias are fishermen : they likewise, when in season, pick the Singh^ri, 
an aquatic plant yielding a bulbous vegetable, which grows in prolific abundance in 
ponds and tanks in Northern India. It is of a sweetish flavour, and when pealed 

is white and crisp. It is eaten both raw and cooked. As an article of diet it is, 
I imagine, not very nutritious. It is however extremely cheap, . and all classes 
of the natives are fond of it. The Balm&s and Turhfts are not found in these 
parts. The former are said to be in the districts to the south ; and the latter in 
the country to the east. Only a few of the Raw&nl clan are in this neighbour- 
hood ; but it is more abundant farther eastward. They are palankeen-bearers 
and also field-labourers. The widows of EahS^rs may marry again. Some Kah&rs 
feed on pork. 

The Dhimars carry palankeens, catch fish for the market, make nets, and 
are employed as porters and labourers. The Tonhfts are very numerous to the 
east of Ghazipftr. The Gonrt&s manufacture nets, work in fields, and carry 

The KahS^r tribe or caste, in all its clans, numbers in these Provinces nearly 
seven hundred thousands persons (a). It is one of the most useful and labori- 
ous of the industrial classes. 

The chief employment of this caste is to supply water both to Hindu and 
Mahomedan families. Some of its members also act as servants in respectable 
Hindu families. 

A small caste somewhat similar to Kahd^rs, employed as cultivators and 
bearers. Some are also boatmen. They are found both in Benares and 

(a) Report of the Cemos of the North- Westeni ProvinceB for 1865, YoL I^ p. 26. 



The occupation of a tailor is held in much greater estimation in India than 
in England. It is common for a family to keep its own Dirzt or tailor, who 
ranks equal to any servant of the house. Many Mahomedans are employed in 
this way, who, in testimony to the honourable position they occupy, receive com- 
monly from all natives, Hindu and Mussalman, the appellation of Khalifas or 
Caliphs. The skill displayed by these Ehaltfas in the manufacture of garments 
worn by Europeans of both sexes, is sometimes very astonishing. They have 
no power of invention — not the smallest — but in imitative ability, they are 
prodigies. Yet they are provokingly slow in execution. . This, however, is a 
characteristic of the races of India generally. The Hindu is slow in all his 
movements. In addition to the Mahomedans engaged in this calling, there is a 
considerable number of Hindus, of an inferior caste, who pursue it likewise. 
They are a separate tribe, and are divided into seven sub-castes or clans, as 
follows : — 

1. Srt Bftstak. 

2. N&m Deo. 

3. T&nch&ra. 

4. Dhanesh. 

5. Panjftbt 

6. Gaur. 

7. Eantak. 

All these sub-castes are found in Benares. They are distinct and separate 
from one another in their social habits and life, and do not intermarry. The list 
given above no doubt differs somewhat from the list of clans in other places ; 
and even in Benares the list is not uniform, for the name of another clan, the 
Saksent, making the eighth, has been brought to my notice. 


The Barber Caste, called also HajS.m. The occupation of a barber in India 
is far wider in its operations than in England. He shaves the head as well as 
the face, pares the nails both of hands and feet, cleans the ears, bleeds and cups. 
In addition, he is a very important personage in Hindu families, on certain pub- 
lic occasions. At a marriage feast, and also at other festivals, the Nkt is com- 
mismoned to visit the persons who are to be invited, and to solicit their attend- 
ance. When all are assembled the NM is present to hand the guests water 
or pawn, or the hookah, as they may desire. He also partakes of the food 
.either with the guests, or retired to a short distance from them, in the intervals 



of his service. And when the feast is over, the Nll<i remoyes the food that 
remains, and distributes it among the Doms, one of the lowest of Hindu tribes. 

The NM is also sometimes employed as a go-between in making arrange- 
ments for marriages between parties, and in seeking out for a youth a suitable 
girl to be his bride. In many social ceremonies, his position ranks only next to 
that of the Brahman himself. On occasion of a funeral, he shaves the head of the 
living and of the dead ; and invites friends and relatives to the funeral. 

The wife of the Nd.&, called Naini or Naunia, is of equal importance, as a 
useful and necessary public servant, with her husband. At the birth of a child 
in Hindu families, for the first six days, a Chamain, or wife of a ChamUr, a man 
of the leather caste, attends both upon the child and its mother ; afler which 
they are both committed to the care of a Nainl. 

In Benares there are three divisions of this caste : 

1. Srt B&stak. 3. Bhojpuria. 

2. Eanoujea. 

The tribe is spread about the country in many directions. In the Muzaff- 
amagar district they have the tradition that they settled there as long ago as 
the time of Frithi Raj. 


The Washerman Caste. Hindus, even the poorest, and of the lowest castes, 
do not wash their own clothes. Although the garments worn by many are both 
scanty and simple, yet the thought never occurs to them that, for the sake of 
economy, it would be advisable for themselves or their wives to devote an hour 
or two occasionally to this operation. That it is contrary to their habit, and 
to the custom of the country, is a sufficient reason with them to pay a Dhobl 
for doing that which they could so easily do themselves. It is common, when 
they bathe, for Hindus to shake and rinse the clothes which they have removed 
from their persons, and to hang them out to dry. This much they will do ; 
but the thorough wash they cannot bring themselves to undertake. This must 
be accomplished by those whose caste and business are to wash. 

Dhobts are very clever at their trade. Before beginning the operation of 
washing, the clothes are gathered together in a bundle, and steamed, that is, 
they are hung for a time over a cauldron of boiling water. After this they are 
taken to a stream or pond, where they are thoroughly washed with the aid of 
fuller's earth. The Dhobt steps nearly knee-deep into the water, and taking a 
quantity of clothes by one end in his two hands he raises them aloft in the air 


and brings them heavily down upon a huge stone slab, grooved, at his feet. This 
threshing operation he repeats until the clothes are perfectly clean. They are 
not, however, quite so strong as when he commenced. Yet when dried they are 
beautifully white. 

The branches of this tribe are numerous : 

1. Eanoujea. 

2. Magahiya. 

3. Belw^r. 

4. Pagahiya. 

5. B&tham. 

6. Marwftrl. 

7. Shaikh. 

8. Pachpiriya. 

9. KfiJika Devi. 

10. Palihar. 

11. Amm&. 

Nearly all of these are found in Benares ; the most numerous clans are the 
Eanoujeas and Shaikhs, the last of whom are Mahomedans. The sub-castes are 
very exclusive in their dealings with one another, and do not intermarry^ or 
eat and drink together. Sir Henry Elliot is wrong, I think, in supposing that 
there is any real distinction between the B&thams and Sri Bftthams (a). He 
refers to another clan of Dhobls called Bharkd^ which, he says, is found from 
MainpArl and Etawah onwards to the far west. A large proportion of the 
Bhark&s, however, have been converted to the Mahomedan religion. 


This tribe has only one special occupation in Benares ; yet is, nevertheless, 
a numerous body. Ten or twelve days after the birth of a son in the family of 
a Hindu, two members of this caste come to the house, where they spend some 
time in singing songs of gratulation and joy, keeping time by the beating of a 
drum. In return, they receive grain, money, and clothes, frequently those 
which have been already worn, and sometimes cloth. The last article they sell, 
in case they do not require it for their own use. They also sing at weddings. 
On these occasions, they also play on a peculiar kind of musical instrument. 
This is their proper employment and calling. In addition, they manufacture fans 
and umbrellas of palm leaves, yet they find it diflScult to kill time, and are 
reported to be a lazy, ignorant, and worthless race. Some of them manufac- 
ture pankhas or fans. 

(a) ElIiot*8 Supplemental GlosBary, p. 81. 


Jalwd or Jaldliyd. 

A few days after the birth of a child in a Hindu family persons of this 
tribe come to the house and cry out for some time, making a great noise. This 
is accounted a preservative from ghosts, imps, and hobgoblins, who are supposed 
to be frightened away from the infant by the shouts and shrieks which are 
made. Cats are kept at a distance, lest they should bring with them an evil 
spirit to the molestation of the child. The Jalwds having performed their part 
in a full measure of shouting, receive their fee, and take their departure. 


A small caste of carriers or porters. They are a strong, able-bodied class 
of men, with a commendable reputation for fidelity. They are found to the 
east of Allahabad (a). 


A caste engaged, for the most part, as servants to the upper classes of 
Hindus. They have the character of being faithful and intrepid. They are 
found mostly on the right bank of the Jumna (b). Upwards of a thousand 
individuals of the caste are in Mirzapftr, and a smaller community is met with 
in the Gorakhpdr district. 


A caste of servants employed chiefly by Hindus. They are found in 
Benares, Allahabad, Azimgarh, and Gorakhpdr. In the last named district they 
numbered, at the Census of 1865, upwards of fourteen thousand persons. 

CaJ Mr. E. A. Readers Inferior Castes of the North- Western Proyinces, p. 27. 
(bj Ibid, p. 15. 





Katera or Dhuniya. 


A CASTE employed in carding or combing cotton. They are also called 
Dhuniyas. Many Mahomedans as well as Hindus pursue this occupation. The 
instrument by which the combing and cleaning are performed, is simply a bow. 
Squatting on the ground before a quantity of fresh cotton, which is ordinarily 
full of dirt, seeds, bits of stick, and so forth, the bow being in his left hand, and 
a wooden mallet in his right, the Katera strikes the string of the bow, and brings 
it quivering to the surface of the cotton, portions of which adhering to it in 
light fibres are at once caught up by the string. The striking being repeated 
continuously without interruption, all the cotton is by degrees beautifully 
combed, and at the same time its foul particles, becoming separated from the 
fibres, and being weighty, fall away of themselves. 

The caste is found in Benares, and also in the Do&b, and districts east of 

Koli or Kori. 

A Caste of Weavers. Their wives are also employed as wet-nurses. The 
community is small, And is found in Agra, and in other western districts in 
these Provinces {a). The Eolis are reputed to be partly of a Bais Bajpoot 

(a) Mr. E. A. Readers Inferior Gattes of the North- Western ProTinceis p. 29. 


A Caste of Weavers, whose occupation is to make edging of silk and of 
various kinds of metal. They also manufacture kim khdb fkin koh) or cloth 
richly inwoven with gold and silver, and also dresses embroidered with the 
same costly materials. They are said to have come originally from Gujerat. 
In Benares there is only one family of this tribe, which is wealthy, and lives in 
a spacious house in the city. 

The Tantras are a separate clan employed in the manufacture of silken 
threads and stuffs. They are said to have come originally from the south. 
They are considered to be of a low caste, as Brahmans will never eat food in 
their houses. 


A small and respectable Caste of Thread-spinners found in the districts to 
the east of Oudh (a). 


A Caste of Dyfers. The word is derived from rdngj colour, and rez, a 
worker. The caste is found in most districts of these Provinces. 

Chhiplj or Chhtpl'gar. 

A Caste of Cloth -printers. Their especial occupation is to stamp chintz 
and other cotton cloths. They are not a numerous class, and yet are found in 
most districts of these Provinces. In Benares they form a distinct caste. 

The Chhtpts claim to be Rftthor Rajpoots, on the ground of some connexion 
which the caste is supposed to have once had with that tribe. 


All boatmen are called Mall&hs, no matter what caste they may belong to. 
Yet there is a special tribe of MallS^hs, divided into several clans. These are 
the following : 






Muria, or Muiiftrt 








Bathawft, or Badhariya. 


Eulwant, or Kul?rat. 


Ghainl, Chain, or Ghai. 



(a) Mr. E. A, Beade*8 InftriotOasteB of the Norih-Westem Frot]llO«^ p. 81. 


These are sailors and fishermen. They also manufacture i^hing nets. The 
Mallldis have a tradition, that at one time the sub-castes intermarried, a custom 
which they have ceased to observe. Hindus of several other castes pursue the 
occupation of a Mall&h. By many persons the Kewats and Malldhs are regarded 
as belonging to the same tribe, and therefore I have included the former in the 
latter. Yet they are not merely boatmen and fishermen, but are also basket, 
makers. The MartS^rts are fishermen. The Guriyas are stone-masons. The 
Chains are steersmen. There is a tradition among the members of the caste 
that while all are descended from a common father, by name Nikhad, yet that 
only the Kewats are descended from the married wife, and the rest are the 
offspring of an irregular marriage. 

The Kewats are of the K&syap gotra or order. This clan does not inter- 
marry with the others. A widow is permitted to re-marry. 

This caste numbers from eighteen hundred to two thousand persons in 

The Mall&hs of Benares affirm that R&m being pleased with the head of the 
caste, gave him a horse, on which he placed a bridle, not on the head, but, in his 
ignorance, on the tail. Hence, the custom, it is stated, of having the helm at 
the stem- of a boat instead of in front. 

Nuniya or Luniya. 

The word Nuniya or Luniya is derived from non or Ion salt ; and conse- 
quently the name Nuniya designates the original occupation of the caste, that of 
manufacturing salt. But this occupation has given place to others, and now, in 
some parts of the country, as Benares and Mirzap^, the members of this caste 
are obliged to abandon entirely their proper emplo3rment, or they would starve- 
The Government of India, having a monopoly of salt, does not permit it to be 
made by the people except in certain districts, even though it may be present in 
the soil in considerable abundance. For instance, the land in various portions of 
the Benares Province is largely impregnated with saltpetre, which afiects the 
growth of cereals and other plants. Houses made of mud or sun-dried bricks 
frequently exhibit, on becoming damp, a thin coating of saltpetre on their sur- 
face ; and indeed it is by no means an uncommon occurrence for houses built 
even of red bricks burnt in a kiln to be seriously damaged by the exudation of 
moisture surcharged with saltpetre. It would be an easy matter, therefore, for 
salt to be manufactured in those districts. The Nuniya, however, finding no 


scope for his business, has wisely taken in hand other species of labour. He 
digs water-courses, ponds, wells and tanks. He also makes bricks and tiles. 

The Nuniyas in these parts are said by themselves to have come from 
Sambhal. They have seven sub-divisions in their tribe, for the most part dis- 
tinct from one another. I have obtained two lists, both which, as they differ 
considerably from each other, I will give. One is from Benares, the other from 

Sub-divisions of the Nuniyd tribe in Benares. 

1. Chauh&n. 

2. Oudhiya. (These are from Oudh^ and are manufacturers of saltpetre.). 

3. Musahar. (Palanquin-bearers.) 

4. Bind. ( Servants.) . ^ 

5. Bh&inh&r. (Occupiers of land.) ^ 

6 . Lodha. ( Field-labourers. ) 

7. Paramt&rl. (None of this caste in Benares. They\are found in the 

country farther west.) 

In addition to this list the two undermentioned clans are als\ regarded as 
Nuniyas in Benares : 

1. Dasaundhiya. | 2. Biijar. 

Sub-divisions of the Nuniyd tribe in Mirzapur. 

1. Bach Gotra Chauh&n (Wear the janeo or sacred cord. Their\ perma- 

nent place of residence is Sambhal. 

2. Bach Gotra Chauh§.n (Do not wear the janeo or sacred cord.) 

3. BhOinh&r. 

4. Bin. 

5. Fachkout&. 

6. Lodh. 

7. Musahar. 

It is manifest that there is great similarity in these lists. Prominence 
given in both to the Chauh&n Nuniyas. The Chauhfi^ns are a well-known tribe o3 
Rajpoots, descended, it is supposed, from a common ancestor Bach or Yatsa (a) 

(a) Elliotts Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., pp. 63, 68. 


Hence they are all said to belong to the Yatsa gotra. The nature of 
the relationship, if any, originally subsisting between so high and distin- 
guished a people as the ChauhS,ns with a race so much inferior in social position 
and natural endowments, is unsusceptible, in all likelihood, of satisfactory expla- 
nation. The former have a tradition that they came from the neighbourhood of 
Sambhar and Ajmere. The Nuniyas trace their origin to Sambhal, which most 
probably should be Sambhar. Judging from the history of other inferior 
castes, the ChauhS^n Nuniyas, at the least, may have sprung either from out- 
cast Chauh&n Rajpoots or from ChauhS^n Rajpoot fathers and Sudra mothers. 

Just as the ChauhS^n Nuniy&s seem to be connected with the Chauh&n 
Rajpoots, in the same manner do the BhMnh&r Nuniyas appear connected 
with the Bhtiinh&r Brahmans, though what its nature is, besides the mere name, 
is not so manifest. 

In addition to the division mentioned above, the Nuniyas are also separated 
into two great classes, Purbiya, and Pachhainya, or Eastern and Western. 

Notwithstanding the presence in both lists of the Musahars as a sub-division 
of Nuniyas, my conviction is that they are a separate and distinct tribe of them- 
selves. I have not thought it right, however, to eliminate them from the lists, 
preferring to adopt the opinions of the natives on this matter even when they 
run counter to my own judgment. The Musahars are a very peculiar race. 
Their occupation is properly to collect wood, leaves, herbs, and medicines, in 
the jungles, and to bring them to the towns and villages for sale. They are 
also sellers of birds and honey. Their food consists of snakes, frogs, iguanas, 
jackals, foxes, and the like. They will also eat the relics of a feast. In addi- 
tion to the occupation just stated, they also labour for hire as palanquin- 
bearers. As a class they are noted for their truthfulness and honesty ; and, it 
is said, are never found in prison. 

The Lodh clan, like the Musahar, is, in my judgment, an independent tribe. 
It is of very ancient date, and is referred to in early chronicles and traditions. 
The Lodh is supposed to have been primitively a seller of the bark of the lodh 
tree, the st/mplocos racemosa^ used as a dye, and for medical purposes. The 
Lodhs are now, however, an extensive class of agriculturists. In parts of the 
Mor&dab&d district, they seem to have resided from time immemorial. Mr. 
G. A. Elliott, in his Chronicles of Oojnao in Oudh, speaks of the Lodhs as one of 
the low caste tribes which inhabited that district in ancient times. They have 
been in the Agra district for several hundred years, and are reputed to have 
come from Mathurft and Bhartpftr. 


The Lodhs number nearly sixty thousand persons in the Etah district alone. 
They are not only cultivators of the soil, but, in some instances, are landholders 
also. They have six divisions or sub-clans, as follows : 

1. Pataria. 

2. Mathuria. 

8. Sankalajaria. 

4. Lakhia. 

5. Eharia. 

6. Pania. 

The Lodhs are very old inhabitants of this district. The most numerous 
sub-clan in the Etah pargannah is the Pataria. They are found also in the 
Lallatpftr and JhS;nsi districts, where they have been for a long period. 

These Nuniya clans do not, for the most part, intermarry, or eat together. 
In the second list, the Bach Gotra Chauh&n, of the second grade, will give his 
daughter in marriage to the son of a Bhdtnh&r ; but not his son to a daughter 
of the same. The Lodh and Musahar will eat together, yet do not intermarry. 
The Bach Gotra Chauhin of the first grade regards himself as much purer and 
of far higher caste than his brother of the same name of the second grade. He 
will not allow the widows of his sub-caste to marry again, whereas the widows 
of the second grade of Bach Gotra Chauhd^ns are permitted to do so. Hence 
the members of the first grade despise %nd sneer at those of the second, and will 
hold no social intercourse with them, being as much distinct from them as 
though they belonged to a totally different tribe. 

The low social position of the Nuniyas is supposed to have arisen firom two 
circumstances, first, that they have taken to an occupation which brings them 
in contact with the earth, and secondly, that they have acquired the habit of 
eating field-mice. These are reasons assigned by natives, but which perhaps 
should rather be received as results than as causes. 



The occupation of the Beldilr is to dig, to construct mud walls, and the 
like. The word comes from bel^ in Persian a spade, or digging implement, and 
ddr, one who handles or uses it. 

The Beld&rs are found in various parts of these Provinces. They do not 
restrict themselves to their proper calling, but in towns and cities are largely 
employed in carrying heavy packages by means of stout poles resting on the 
shoulders of two or more. 




The designation of Beld&r is common to many classes of ordinary labourers 
employed in heavy manual work. Entire colonies of Beld&rs are found in some 
places as wood-cutters. 


A caste of wood-splitters. They buy wood, cut it into small pieces, and sell 
it. There are only a few members of the caste in Benares ; but a great many 
in the district of Mirzapiir. 


These are properly keepers of Serais, or native inns. They are found in all 
districts. They seem to be unsuited to engage in any other occupation. 


A class of carriers, such as of grain, sugar, and salt. They are found in 
various districts of the Do&b, and as far east as Gorakhpftr. 




Baheliya^ or Badhak. 

The members of this tribe are by profession hunters, gamekeepers, and 
bird-catchers. They are exceedingly expert in the art of catching birds, and 
great practice has given them wonderful powers of manipulation. A man is 
seated on the ground with a long pole in his hand, at one end of which is a 
sharp spike. He slowly introduces the pole among a number of birds carelessly 
hopping about picking up grain, giving it a zig-zag direction and imitating as 
much as possible the movement of a snake* Having brought the point near one 
of the birds, which is fascinated by its stealthy approach, he suddenly jerks it 
into its breast, and then, drawing it to him, releases the poor palpitating crea- 
ture, putting it away in his bag, and recommences the same operation. The 
Baheliya also catches birds with a kind of lime taken from the Madder tree, by 
means of a long pole, as in the former instance. The viscous substance at the 
end of the pole, on touching the bird, sticks to it, and it is caught. The 
Baheliya is employed likewise in making ropes, and also as a watchman, and in 
other kinds of service. 

Mr. P. Carnegy is wrong in supposing that this clan is peculiar to the 
eastern division of Oudh. It is met with in the Do&b, in Benares, and indeed in 
nearly all the districts of the North Western Provinces. Mr. Beade remarks 
upon the Baheliyas, that they are * hardy, active, and generally of good charac- 
ter. A stigma has been attached to this class in the Mainptlrl district as thieves 
and highway robbers ; but this appears to have arisen from confounding them 
with the Borias ' (a). 

(a) Mr. Readers Inferior Castes of the North- Western Provinces, p. 14. 



A tribe devoted to the pursuit of game, which they bring to the market for 
sale. There are none of the tribe in Benares ; but some fifty families reside at 
the village of J&dftpto, four miles distant. The tribe, it is said, contains the 
prescriptive number of seven clans, several of which on enumeration I found to 
consist of Mahomedans. The Hindu clans are as follows : 

1. Hajari. 3. Purbiya. 

2. Uttariya. 4. Eoireriya. 

These do not intermarry. Of the Mahomedan clans, one is called Turkiya, 
possibly an Afghan race, or descendants of the early Moslem invaders of India. 
The Karouls of J&dftpftr are employed largely in the capacity of sepoys, or 
soldiers, in the families of the native nobility and gentry of Benares. They are 
a manly race. Although only Sudras they indulge the habit of affixing ^ Singh ' 
to their names as though they were Rajpoots. 


A caste devoted to hunting and sport. They are a hardy, enthusiastic, and 
dirty race. Some are employed as watchmen. The caste is chiefly found in 
Bundelkhand, Mirzapftr, and the southern districts of the Bewah principality (a)- 
Several thousands likewise inhabit the districts of Gorakhpftr, Allahabad, Fathpftr, 
Sh&hjah&np(lr, and Benares. 

Other castes addicted to hunting and field sports wUl be described in the 
next part. 

(a) Mr. E. A. Reade'a Inferior CtMtes of the North-Weatem Frovinoes, p. 14. 

r— -2 





This race, variously known by the terms RSj bhar, Bharat, Bharpatwa, and 
Bhar, once inhabited a wide tract of country extending from Gorakhpfir, in 
Norchern India, to Saugor, in Central India. Other tribes, such as the Cheriis, 
the Majhw&rs, and the Eols, were, in places, associated with them; but there 
is good reason to believe that the Bhars greatly outnumbered them all. They 
were very powerful in Oudh ; and the country lying between Benares and 
Allahabad, on either side of the Ganges, a tract of about seventy miles in 
length, was almost exclusively in their possession. The entire district of Alla- 
habad also was originally in their hands ; and traces of them are still to be 
seen in every pargannah^ more especially in the pargannahs situated across the 
Ganges and Jumna. Their forts there, called Bhar-dih, some of which are of 
vast size, are very numerous ; and they have the credit of having excavated all 
the deep tanks which now exist. The pargannah of Ehairagarh bears very 
abundant traces of their toil and enterprise. The stone fort of that name, of 
immense proportions, is said to have been their work (a). 

In the district of Banda, on its eastern side, are extensive hill forts, which 
Dr. Wilton Oldham, formerly Assistant Magistrate of that district, informs me 
are of eyclopaean dimensions, and are attributed to the Bhars. In particular, he 
mentions Lukwa situated in the Chlbtl pargannah. 

Vestiges of this race are found in many places in the districts of Mirzapdr, 
JaunpAr, Azimgarh, Ghazipdr, Gorakhpftr, and in the province of Oudh, where 
numerous embankments, tanks, subterraneous caverns, and stone forts, still 
testify to their energy and skill. The present inhabitants of Azimgarh have a 
tradition that their country, in the time of R&m, with whose kingdom of Aju- 
dhiya it was formerly connected, was occupied by R&jbbars and Asftrs. The 
Bhars have left behind them large mud forts, of which specimens may be seen 

(a) Report of BoTenue Settlement» Allahabad Vol. II., Fart I. 


at Harbanspiir and ITnchgaon, near tbe town of Azimgarh, and also at Ghosi. 
The Kunw&r and Manghai rivers of the district seem to have been connected by 
a trench called As&rain, the work, it is said, of its primitive inhabitants. The 
Hari BS^ndh or dam at Amin-nagar, in tbe Niz&md.b&d pargannahj is an embank- 
ment generally ascribed to them (a). 

The Bhars once possessed the northern portion of the present district of 
Ghazipdr, now divided into the pargannahs of Sh&dtftbad, Pachotar, Zuhftr&b&d, 
and Laknesar. One Bhar chief lived at ZuhAr&bftd, while another occupied the 
fort of Laknesar-dlh, the deserted village of Laknesar (b). Yet the race, in 
association with other aboriginal tribes, was not confined to this limited tract, 
but was once spread abroad in various directions in that part of the country. 
^^ The Hindu land-owning tribes/' says Dr. Oldham, ^^ all agree in stating that, 
at the time of the first immigration of their forefathers, the entire country, 
except a few tracts held by Brahmans, so far as the forests had been cleared, 
was occupied by aborigines not of the Aryan race, who were in the habit of 
eating the flesh of swine, and using intoxicating drinks, and were called Seorees, 
Bhars, and Cheriis" (c). This tradition is current, says the same Mrriter, 
throughout the Benares Province, Oudh, and Behar. 

How far the extensive district of GorakhpAr was occupied by the Bhars, is 
uncertain. We know that the Eausik tribe of Bajpoots ousted them fix)m a portion 
of their territory, and retain possession of it to the present day. 

Respecting the Bhars of Oudh, Mr. P. Camegy, Deputy Commissioner of 
Fyzab&d, remarks, that ^^ the ruins of their former masonry forts are to be traced 
by scores in our districts ; and the name of their former capital, where they were 
finally overthrown by the Mahomedans, after being, according to popular tradi- 
tion, artfully plied with spirits, was Easbhawanpftr, the modem town of Sul* 
t&npiir, destroyed by us after the re-occupation of the Province" (d). The 
Bhar raj or dominion included the whole of eastern Oudh. Every great natural 
work or ancient relic there, is attributed, says Mr. C. A. Elliott, in his Chro- 
nicles of Oonao, either to the devil or the Bhars. He states, moreover, that 
^^ almost every town whose name does not end in pHr^ or dbddj or moWy or is not 
distinctly derivable from a proper name, is claimed by tradition, in the east 
of Oudli, as a Bhar town. The district of Bharaich is (if we may trust its 

(a) Settlement Report of the Azimgarh District, Vol. I., Sections 23, 24, 

(b) Dr. 01dham*8 Memoir of the Ghazipiir Diatricti Part I., p. 46. 

(c) Ibid, 

(d) Mr. P. Cameg7*s Races of Oodh, p. 22» 


traditions) their oldest abode, and the name of the town of Bharaich is said to be 
derived from them. From thence they spread southwards through the districts 
of Fjzabftd and Sult&npftr; and it is in the latter district that they maintained 
themselves latest, being only finally extirpated in the reign of Alamgir. It is 
said that some of their number may be found there even now, living a wild 
gipsy life in the jungles" (a). 

The district of Mirzapdr exhibits traces and remains of this people to a 
greater extent than of any other tribe. The pargannah of Bhadoht, or, more 
properly, " Bhardohi," is called after them. Mr. Duthoit, late Deputy Superin- 
tendent of the Family Domains of the Maharaja of Benares, in his recent elabo- 
rate report on this pargannah^ says, that traces of the Bhars abound on all 
sides, in the form of old tanks and village forts. " One cannot go for three miles 
in any direction without coming upon some of the latter." Their tanks are 
Suraj-bedi, that is, longer from east to west than from north to south ; and 
thereby distinguishable from modern tanks, which are Chandr-bedi, and lie north 
and south. The bricks found in the Bhar-dths or forts, are of enormous dimen- 
sions, and frequently measure nineteen inches in length, eleven in breadth, and 
two and a quarter in thickness. In qualify and size they are similar to bricks 
often seen in ancient Buddhist buildings (5). 

This pargannah stretches along the north bank of the Ganges ; yet on the 
south side of that river, likewise, Bhar forts and towns are met with. One of 
their principal cities was situated about five miles to the west of the modem city 
of Mirzapftr, and was evidently of great extent. Its brick and stone debrU lies 
scattered over the fields for several miles. This old city is called Fampftpftri by 
the people now living in the neighbourhood. It is probable that the original 
name has been lost, and that this name was given to it by the Rajpoots who took 
the country from the Bhars. From its size and the substantial nature of the 
buildings, which, judging from the relics, it contained, the city must have been 
of sufficient importance to be the capital of the country. It included within its 
circuit the ancient town of Yindhy&chal, famous in the Fur&nas, and still cele- 
brated throughout a great part of India for its shrine of the goddess Yindhyes- 
varl, which many thousands of pilgrims firom every quarter visit yearly. To 
the east of the town are the remains of the fort, from which spot, in a westerly 
direction, debris is found in great abundance. 

(a) ChronideB of Oonao, p. 26. 

(h) Report of the Bhadohee paigannah, p. 2. 


Tradition says that the city once possessed one hundred and fifty temples, 
all which were destroyed by that indomitable enemy of idolatry, the emperor 
Aurungzebe. This is perhaps an exaggeration ; yet that there were formerly 
magnificent temples on this spot, is indisputable. Below the AshtbhAji bun- 
galow, a sanatarium erected on a spur of the ridge immediately above the site 
of the ancient city by a public-spirited native gentleman of Mirzapi^, for the 
special benefit of its European residents, is a massive square building having the 
appearance of a fort. It is, however, a Hindu monastery, with a temple on its 
summit, reputed to be of some sanctity. This edifice has in its walls, breast- 
works, and foundations, a multitude of carved stones and figures, while many 
more cover the ground in its vicinity. The sculptures found here and else- 
where in many places among the outl3ring fields, for a great distance, are not of 
modern Hindu style — ^indeed, in point of design and skilfulness of execution, 
are far superior to the productions of Hindus of later times. Some of the 
figures are of that curious type described, hesitatingly, by Mr. Fergusson, in 
his '' Tree and Serpent Worship in India," as Dasyas, or aborigines, in contra- 
distinction to the immigrant tribes of Hindus. They are readily distinguish- 
able by their peculiar head-dress and long-pointed beards. They constitute, 
however, but a small portion of the figures, which are, for the most part, repre- 
sentations of Hindu men and women, with most elaborate turbans and head- 
dresses, while exceedingly few apparently are of a sacred character. It is pro- 
bable that nearly all these relics point to a later period of Bhar history, when 
Hindus had come and settled among them. The contrast between the long- 
bearded figures and the Hindu figures, is very striking. It is questionable 
whether, at the date of most of these sculptures, the Bhars were still in pos- 
session of the country ; indeed, I am inclined to the supposition that it had, in 
part or in whole, already passed from them into the hands of the Bajpoots, who 
are known to have been the rulers over this tract for a period of five hundred 
years. At the same time, the position and attitude of the Bhar figures on these 
sculptures indicate that, at the time of their execution, the Bhars were still a 
people of importance. It is right to add, however, that a few of the sculptures, 
yet only a few, represent the Bhars as the superior race, and attached to the 
Buddhist or Jain religion. 

My friend, C. J. Sibold, Esq., of Mirzapiir, has made an excellent collection 
of sculptures from the numerous remains at Famp&piirdr, from which a few, 
admirably drawn by a native artist, have been selected for description. I have 
chiefly chosen those which exhibit the bearded figures. Some of these are 





THACKEfl. 3P1NK ft < 




evidently sacred objects. It will be observed that the cast of countenance 
of all the bearded figures id of a peculiar type, difiering considerably from 
the Hindu countenances with which, in some instances, they are associated, and 
also from Hindu faces of the present day. 

The figures I and 2 are probably Bhar Rajas. The same may be said of 
the bearded figure 3, the other countenances beiog of a Hindu cast. 
Moreover, while the Bhar, is seated, and occupies an honorable position, the 
Hindu to the left is standing, and is probably an attendant. The sharply 
pointed beards of the Bhars, in most of these sketches, are very curious, being 
altogether unlike anything seen among the natives of India of modern times. 
Their head-dresses too are singular. The lower part of that of figure 1 looks 
like a crown. 

The bearded figure 4, judging from his elaborate turban and long ear-rings, 
is a person of some distinction. His short beard has the appearance of a necker- 
chief. The artist has, I suspect, hardly caught its true expression. The Hindu 
attendant is presenting something kneeling. In the compartment to the left, the 
figure with a Hindu countenance, is seated cross-legged. It is four-armed, and 
therefore a deity, perhaps the household god of the Bhar chief. If this be so, it 
shows that the sketch represents a period when the Bhars worshipped Hindu 

Figure 5 seems to be at his devotions. He has one hand partly clasping 
the other. Figure 6 is in contemplation. He is not a devotee, as some might 
perhaps be inclined to imagine, for he has several bracelets and armlets on his 
wrist and arm ; nevertheless, it is probable that he is religiously engaged. 
Figures 7 and 8 display a considerable difference of head-dress. Their physiog- 
nomies are not of a Hindu type. The head of 7 is remarkable for the size of its 

The central figure in the next Plate, compared with the remaining figures, 
is of colossal proportions. Being headless, it is impossible to speak about it 
with precision. The stumps of its four arms indicate that it was a divinity — 
but of what religion ? The elephant and deer were sacred animals with the 
Buddhists, and are very frequently found on their sculptures. The four arms, 
however, seem to point to a Hindu deity. Of the thirteen subordinate human 
figures, the three upper ones are beardless, and most likely represent Hindus. 
Two of these are worshipping the central figure. The ten lower figures have 
all pointed beards, and present a great similarity of physiognomy. Those in an 
erect posture are perhaps intended to represent priests, or, it may be, men of 


rank in attendance on the god. - One of them holds in his hand a flag, another 
girasps a kind of club. All have on their heads a high conical cap or turban. 
The four bearded personages seated below display a very different style of head- 
dress, and seem to be of a humbler position in life. It is remarkable that the 
erect figures, and the divinity also, are adorned with what has the appearance of 
the sacred thread, while the sitting figures above and below are destitute of it. 
The Bhar figures, 1 and 4, have the thread also, but 2 and 3 are without it. I 
am at a loss to explain this very singular circumstance. My own impression is 
that the Bhars learnt the custom of wearing the thread from the Rajpoots, who 
came amongst them. But this must have been done before the Bhars were 
subdued, and while the Rajpoots were mere servants to them ; for it is hardly 
likely that the Rajpoots, after they had subjugated the Bhars, would have suf* 
fered them to wear a sacred badge, which only Hindus of good caste were per- 
mitted to assume. Figure 10 is a four-armed divinity ; yet exhibits the Bhar 
type of countenance seen in Nos. 7 and 8. The conical cap and pointed beard 
are much like those observed in the erect figures of No. 9. The figure is four 
feet four inches in height. 

It will be readily perceived that the beautiful figure No. 11, represented in 
the last Plate, displays a very different countenance from any of the Bhar figures 
described above. I believe it to be a likeness of a Gaharw&r Rajpoot, probably 
of a chief of the family that took possession of the Bhar territory of Eantit. 
The conical head-dress is of the same description as that worn by the Bhar 
chiefs in the sketches already noticed, but is more ornamented and magnificent. 
The figure is a divinity, as is manifest from the third eye set in the middle of 
the forehead ; and represents, very probably, Shiva as Trilochan, or the three- 
eyed. As a specimen of art, the relic is worthy of study. It is of colossal size, 
and originally belonged to a statue some ten or twelve feet in height. 

Mr. Woodbum, Settlement Officer in Oudh, in his Report on the Mangalsi 
pargannah of the Fyzab&d district, has some interesting, though somewhat 
fanciful, observations on the nature and use of the Bhar forts in that part of 
Oudh. " Bhar forts, as they are called, are common in the pargannah. They 
are in general simple rounded mounds, more or less lofty, strewn with broken 
brick. The mounds appear to be, in the main, artificial ; and their area is 
never large. If the dwellings of the ^Bhars were confined to the mound, the 
population of that day must have been very scanty. This is hardly consistent 
with the revenue returns of Akbar's reign for the neighbourhood; and yet, 
according to the corroborative accounts of the Rajpoot tribes, the Bhars were 


dominant till Akbar's time. Impressed, however, with that idea, iind feeUng 
it hard to believe that a small population, living on an exuberant soil, could have 
lived in a state of constant strife, I conceived that the mounds were possibly 
constructed as a sanitary precaution against the malaria of a region of marshes 
and forests. The theory is scarcely justified by the position of some of the 
mounds with which I became acquainted. But however this may be, there can 
be no doubt a great change has taken place in the habits of the people since the 
days of the mound makers. Brick strongholds have been succeeded by clay 
huts ; and, as in the case of Kal&parpftr (where there is a Bhar fort,) the people 
have formed the notion that evil and misfortune haunt the dwelling-places of 
their forerunners. It is strange how the name of the Bhars should have adher- 
ed to places that now know them no more." 

That the Bhars were not a barbarous race, but were partially civilized, is 
sufficiently proved by the numerous works of skill which they have left. Their 
massive forts, found throughout the country which they once inhabited, testify 
to their warlike propensities, yet they were probably erected chiefly as means 
of defence, and as places of refuge ; for, in their later history, it is certain they 
were exposed to fierce attacks from their Rajpoot neighbours. The same 
energy and talent which they exhibited in defending themselves against their 
enemies, they also displayed in more peaceful pursuits. Whence this people 
obtained their civilization, which placed them much above the condition of .many 
other aboriginal tribes, it is hard to say, unless we suppose that it had its origin 
in themselves. 1 know not why we should be so r^ady always to ascribe 
all the ancient civilization of India to successive troops of Hindu immi^ 
grants. The more I investigate the matter, the stronger do my convictions bet- 
come, that the Hindu tribes have learnt much from the aboriginal races, but that^ 
in the course of ages, these races have been so completely subdued, and have 
been so ground down by oppression, and treated with such extreme rigour and 
scorn, that, in the present condition of abject debasement in which we find 
them, we have no adequate means of judging of their original genius. and 
power. Mr. Thomason, late Lieutenant-Governor of the North- Western Pro- 
vinces, in his Report on the Ceded Portion of the District of Azimgarh, says of 
the Bhars and the tribes associated with them : — '' The iahabitants of the country, 
by whatever name they are distinguished, were a powerful and industrious 
people, as is evident by the large works they have left behind them'' (a). 

(a) Mr. ThofiuuKm*a Beport of the Ceded Portion of the Dktrict of ABimgarh, p. 18. 


How long, prior to the Rajpoot invasions, the Bhars had occupied this tract 
of country, cannot be ascertained ; yet the prosperity to which they had atiain- 
ied, and the civilization which they had acquired, are sound reasons for think- 
ing that they had held possession of it for a protracted period. Six, or, at the 
most, seven hundred years ago, the whole of the Benares Province, a large 
portion of the Province of Oudh, and perhaps a considerable portion of outly- 
ing territories, were, beyond all dispute, chiefly in the hands of the Bhars and 
other aboriginal non- Aryan tribes« The fall of Eanouj and Delhi, at the end of 
the twelfth century, set free the great Rajpoot families, and sent them wandering 
all over the country in quest of new homes. These came in contact with the 
aboriginal tribes, and either subdued them at once, or, as was probably more 
frequently the case, obtained employment and lands from them, in the first in- 
stance, and afterwards, as opportunity served, by degrees seized their possessions, 
overthrew their owners, and expelled them. This process was a long or short 
one, according to circumstances. In some instances, several hundred years 
elapsed before the end was gained. Tet finally the same conclusion was attain- 
ed everywhere. 

The traditions of all the land- owning tribes of the tracts referred to accord 
with these statements, bearing united testimony to the fact, that, a few hundred 
years ago, the middle Ganges' valley was occupied by non- Aryan aboriginal 
races. The history of the period preceding the Rajpoot immigrations, is partly 
historical, and partly conjectural. During the prevalence of Buddhism in 
Northern India, the Aryan races appear to have been everywhere dominant. 
Some of the aboriginal tribes blended with them, though to what extent, is 
uncertain. As Hinduism began to re-assert its authority and claims, on the 
decay of Buddhism, a fierce struggle seems to have arisen between the two reli- 
gious factions. Yet how far the Aryans had cultivated the soil, and spread 
themselves out into villages and towns, is, strictly speaking, unknown. Whe- 
ther, indeed, the country was well, or only scantily, populated, is equally uncer- 
tain. Most probably the latter supposition is the correct one. This, however, 
is tolerably clear, that the aboriginal tribes were in a subject condition. We 
have trustworthy information respecting the kingdom of Benares, and a portion 
of that country of which Ajudhiya was the capital. They were governed by 
Hindus. Both were originally chief seats of Hinduism. Afterwards, in both 
places, Buddhism was very powerful. And, lastly, in both kingdoms, Hinduism 
became once more in the ascendant. Nevertheless, the Aryan race, in its 
tremendous efforts to shake off the Buddhist creed, greatly enfeebled itself, and 


was consequently unable to cope with tlie aboriginal tribes, which, taking advan- 
tage of the religious and political strife which was destroying the life of the 
Hindu nation, endeavored to regain their ancient lands, from which ages before 
they had been driven away into the forests and mountains. 

The remarks of Dr. Oldham respecting the district known by the modern 
name of Ghazipftr, is equally applicable to the whole of the Benares Province : — 
^^ On the downfal of Buddhism in this part of India, the distinction between the 
Aryans and the aborigines became as marked as ever. The former, weakened 
by their internecine war, were unable to hold the country ; the latter, removed 
from the civilizing influences to which they had been subjected, relapsed wholly 
or partially into barbarism. And hence it was that this district, which, thirteen 
hundred years ago, formed an important part of a civilized Aryan monarchy, 
eight hundred years ago was under the sway of a number of petty semi- 
barbarous aboriginal chiefs, and had a very small Aryan population ; while, on 
the other hand, the upper valley of the Ganges was filled with a teeming popu- 
lation of Hindus, who were in a position to send out colonies even before the 
coming of the Mussulmans, but who, on their coming, were compelled to do 
so" (a). In this passage Dr. Oldham, I think, somewhat imder-rates the 
civilization of the aboriginal tribes, which, as before remarked, judging from 
existing remains, was considerable. 

To the same purport are the observations of Mr. C. A. Elliott, respecting 
the changes in the distribution of the ra^^es of Oudh. The two periods in the 
history of that country, namely Aryan and post- Aryan, he describes as follows : — 
" When the Aryan race," he says, ^4nvaded the Gangetic valley, and the Sdiraj- 
bansls settied in Ajudhiya, the natural resource for the aborigines would be to 
fly to the hills, and find refuge in their impenetrable fastnesses, girded about 
witii the deathly Terai. When the curtain rises again, we find Ajudhiya 
destroyed, the Sftrajbansts utterly vanished, and a great extent of country 
ruled over by aborigines call Cherfts in the far east, Bhars in the centre, and 
Bajpusls in the west. This great revolution seems to be satisfactorily explained 
by tiie conjecture that the Bhars, Cherfts, &;c., were the aborigines whom the 
Aryans had driven to the hills, and who, swarming down from thence not long 
after the be^nning of our era^ overwhelmed the Aryan civilization, not only in 
Sahetan and the other northern towns, but in Ajudhiya itself, drove the Sftraj- 
bansls under Kanak Sen to emigrate into distant Gujerftt, and spread over all 

(a) Dr. 01d]uun*8 Steiiftical Memoir of the Qhtapibr Diilrict, p. 49. 


the plain between the Himalayas and that spur of the Yindhyan Bange which 
passes through the south of Mirzapftr" (a). 

These aboriginal races having once re-entered the tracts of country which 
they had wrested from the Aryan tribes, settled upon them, and remained com- 
paratively unmolested for a long period extending over hundreds of years. AU 
this is plain when it is considered how firm was the hold which they had on 
the country when the wave of Rajpoot immigration began to flow in upon them. 
Their cities and towns, their industrial arts, their huge earthworks, their canals 
and trenches connecting rivers, and so forth, are irrefragable proofs of their 
permanence and prosperity. 

Yet it must not be imagined that the land was cleared and cultivated to 
the extent in which we now see it. On the contrary, it is likely that, not only 
during this period of non- Aryan occupation of this portion of India, but also 
during the preceding period of Aryan occupation, the country had not been 
largely brought under cultivation, and that immense forests abounded extending 
over many miles. My own conviction is, that only in comparatively recent 
times, especially since the reign of Akbar, have the vast plains of Northern 
India been subjected to the plough and the harrow. The emperor Baber, 
grandfather of Akbar, in his Memoirs, says, that, while at Chunar, a lion, a 
rhinoceros, and a wild buffalo, were seen close on the edge of his damp, and tiiat 
many elephants roamed in the jungle around Chunar, and, apparentiy, even as 
far as, and beyond, Benares. Elephants are known to have frequ^ited the jungle 
between Chunar imd Allahabad, in the sixteenth century, and the hills to the 
soutii of the Ganges must at that time have been almost unapproachable. 

It is certain, therefore, that, at the time when the Bhars and other indus- 
trious aboriginal races planted their villages, and cultivated the lands around 
them, vast tracts, infested by wild beasts, remained uncleared. They inhabited, 
in short, an illimitable forest, which they cleared in places, and cultivated, Sub« 
duing the untamed land, providing against dearth by di^ng splendid tanks, 
banking up morasses, utilizing water-courses, and thus laying the foundations of 
soeial happiness and comfort. ^^ All inquiry," says Mr. 6. Ricketts, ^' shows 
that the civilization of this district (namely Allahabad), and its reclamation 
from the primitive jungle, was of compaifttively recent date, that is, within four 
hundred and fifty years. Very few of the Mahomedans claim descent from the 
followers of Shah&b-ud-dlu; but few Hindus date back beyond the reign of Jai 

(a) Mr. 0^ A. £Uiotl*t Chronicles of OonaOk p. 27. 


Chand of Eanouj, whose followers, when defeated by Shah&b-ud-dtn, populated 
a portion of this district — but almost all state that their ancestors took posses- 
sion of those jungle tracts, which form their present estates, within this period." 
If our own remarks respecting the social condition of the Bhars be correct, the 
estimate Mr. Ricketts forms of the civilization of this tribe, and of others in 
their neighbourhood, is altogether unsatisfactory (a). 

Sir Henry Elliot considers it strange that so little notice is taken of the 
Bhars in the Pur&nas. The fact may be accounted for in two ways. In the 
first place, Brahmanical writers generally speak of the Dasyas, Asuryas, and all 
other non-Hindu races, with superciliousness and contempt ; and, consequently, 
rarely exhibit a particle of interest in their welfare. In the second place, the 
abandonment of a considerable tract of country on the part of the Aryans who 
occupied them, or their expulsion therefrom by aboriginal races, was an act of 
such little h(Hior, that it was only natural, not only that the circumstance 
should not be referred to in records devoted to the purposes of the Hindu tribes, 
but also that the aborigines themselves, who had profited by it, should be 
unnoticed. Sir H. Elliot conjectures, however, that an obscure reference to the 
Bhars is to be found in the Brahma Pur&na, where, it is said : — ^^ AmoDg the de- 
scendants of Jayadhwaja are the Bhd.ratas^ who, it is added, are not commonly 
specified ^rom their great number. So also the * Harivansa' says of the Bhft- 
ratas, I, p. 157, ^ they form an immense family, whose numbers it is impossible 
to mention.' Or they may perhaps be the Bhargas, of the * Mah&bh&rata,' sub- 
dued by Bhim Sen, on his eastern expedition" (b). 

With all their industry and capacity the Bhars were destined to perish. 
The chief cause of their destruction was, doubtless, as already stated, the suc- 
cess of the Mahomedan invasions of India, whereby the great Rajpoot rulers of 
Kanouj and Delhi were overthrown, and the Bajpoot tribes generally of Upper 
India, coming into collision with a foe stronger than themselves, were compelled 
to surrender their old possessions, and to seek out new homes. Being driven 
from their own countries they fled into the more secure regions of the east, 
where, coming in contact with aboriginal tribes, they gradually subdued them. 

In the Ghazip&r and Azimgarh districts, a fierce and prolonged contest was 
carried on between the Bhars and the Sengarh Rajpoots from Phaphund, in 


(a) CenBua Report of the North- Western FroyinceB for 1865, Vol L, Appendix B; Mr. O. Rickett*a 
Paper on the Castes and Tribes of AQahabad, p. 127. 
(h) EUiot's Supplemental Glossary, p. 83. 


the district of Etawah. These latter first entered the northern part of Ghazipftr 
in the employment of the Bhar Raja, who resided there. After a time, receiving 
some provocation from the Raja, they killed him, and endeavored to seize his 
territory. The Bhars, however, bravely defended their lands ; but the superior 
military skill of their enemies was more than a match for their courage and 
numbers, and they were obliged to submit to the yoke of the conqueror. The 
Sengarhs had two chiefs, Hari Thd^kur and Bir Th&kur. The descendants of the 
former occupy the Laknesar pargannah, while those of the latter are found 
partly in the Zuhurabftd pargannah, of the Ghazipiir district, and partly in a 
portion of Sikandarptlr, in the Azimgarh district. They reckon fifteen genera- 
tions since their arrival in these parts, which shows that the Bhar rule lasted 
until a comparatively recent period (a). 

The extensive pargannah of Eantit, in the Mirzapiir district, derives its 
name, according to tradition, from the famous Raja Karn, who, it is said, came 
on a tlrth or pilgrimage to the island of R&m Gyah, in the Ganges, near Yin- 
dhy&chal. Earn-tirth has been contracted into Eantit. Formerly, this tract 
was in the possession of the Bhars ; but was wrested from them by the Gahar- 
w&r Rajpoots, under their chief, Giidhan Deo, of the family of Raja Jai Ghand 
of Eanouj, who massacred the Bhar ruler together with his relations and attend- 
ants. The capital of the Bhar kingdom in these parts was, I conjecture, the 
extensive city of Pamp&pdrd*, from which the sculptures were brought, which 
have already been described. Gtldhan Deo built forts on his domains, portions 
of which are still standing. 

This chief also took from the Bhars the lands of Khairagarh, now a 
pargannah in the Allahabad district, which afterwards fell to one of his sons. 
The number chaurdsiy or eighty -four, was applied to so many villages. Hence 
there is a Tuppeh Chaur&si, or sub-division, consisting of eighty-four villages, 
both in the pargannah of Eantit and of Ehairagarh. This family became very 
powerful, and spread over a wide extent of country, occupying large tracts in 
the districts of Allahabad, Mirzapftr, Jaunpfiir, and Benares. The present Raja 
of Md^nda, one of Gftdhan Deo's descendants, possesses a small portion only of 
this territory ; yet it consists of six hundred and seventy-five square miles (A). 
It has been said that the Gaharw&r Rajpoots once ruled from old Eanouj to 
Allahabad and Mirzaptlr; but this perhaps is only conjecture. 

(a) Dr. 01dham*8 Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipftr District, Chap. Ill, Sec. 9. 

(b) Mr. C. Raikes* Settlement Records of the Kantit Pargannah, Sec. 4 ; Report of Rerenue Settleiii^C» 
AUahabad, Vol. II,, Part I, Sec. 29. 



To the north of the Ganges, in what is the now the Bhadoht pargannah^ the 
Bhar principality was destroyed by the Monas Rajpoots, who came from Amber, 
or old Jaipur, where the elder branch of the clan still exists. The tradition of the 
circumstance, universally believed in the neighbourhood, is as follows. Five 
persons of the Hon race undertook to perform a pilgrimage from their own 
country to Benares. Passing through the Bhar territory they were attracted 
by its advantages, and determined to remain there, and to settle among its 
inhabitants! They were joined by other members of their tribe, whom they 
invited over. As they increased in numbers and importance, the Bhars sought 
to make alliances with them; but their overtures being discountenanced, 
disputes at length arose on the subject of intermarriage, which increased to 
blows. This seems to have been the signal for a general attack upon the 
Bhars ; and, in the struggle which ensued, the Monas people were so successful 
that they not only completely subjugated the aborigines, but utterly destroyed 
them. At the present day, scarcely a Bhar is to be found from one extremity of 
the pargannah to the other, so absolute and entire has been their extermination. 

Fortune, however, is a fickle goddess, and the fate of the Monas Rajpoots 
of Bhadoht, and also of the Gaharw&r Rajpoots of Eantit, affords notable 
instances of her inconstancy. The former calling in the aid of Pirthtpat Singh, 
Raja of Part&bgarh, to settle their family disputes, fell into his power ; and, in 
the year 1751, the />arg*anna A passed from his hands into those of Balwant 
Singh, Raja of Benares, with whose descendants it still remains. This powerful 
and ambitious chieftain also obtained possession of the Eantit lands, driving out 
the Gaharw&r, Raja Yikramajit, who with his attendants sought safety in flight. 
For nearly five hundred years the Raja and his predecessors had occupied the 
country. On the rebellion of Raja Cheit Singh of Benares, Warren Hastings 
sent for Raja Gobindjlt, son of Vikramajit, from his hiding-place, for the pur- 
pose of restoring to him his patrimonial estate of Eantit. The new Raja of 
Benares, however, had sufficient influence with the British Government to hinder 
its restoration ; and he only received a tenth part of the original receipts. His 
successors now reside in the old Gaharw&r fort of Bijaigarh, the domains of 
.which were afterwards given in commutation of the tenth. The prestige of 
the ancient Gaharw&r family, in the flourishing commercial city of Mirzap&r, is 
yery great ; and when the mutiny was at its height, the Government wisely 
availed themselves of it in preserving order among the people (a). 

(a) Report of the Bhadohi Parganoah, pp. 4, 5, 8 ; Mr. G. Raikes* Settlement RecordB of the Kantit 
^argaimah, Sec. 6. 

H— 2 



H is greatly to the credit of Balwant Singh, the first Raja of Benares, that, 
during the time of his occupancy of the Eantit estate, he exerted himself most 
eQergetically in promoting the prosperity of the new and rising city of Mirza- 
"ptr. He sent over traders of various kinds from Benares ; and a detachment, 
of horse and foot was stationed there for the security of its inhabitants. The 
trade of the city rapidly increased ; and it is not too much to say that its present 
important position, as one of the chief centres of trade in these Provinces, is 
mainly the result of the Raja's enterprise (a). 

In the district of Allahabad, several tribes of Rajpoots, at various times, 
ejected the Bhars. For instance, the Bais Rajpoots are found in Jhansa par- 
gannah; the Monas Rajpoots in Kawai; the Sonak in Meh; the Tissy&l in 
Sikandra; andtheNanwak in NawS^b Ganj. The Bisen Rajpoots have settled 
in Karra, and Atharban, in the Do&b {b). 

The Bais Rajpoots of Oudh were very ruthless in their treatment of these 
industrious aborigines. Mr. Patrick Camegy, in his ^' Historical Sketch of 
Fyzab^," gives a particular account of the successful raids made by members of 
the Bais tribe into that part of Oudh now known as the district of Fyzab&d. The 
Bais of Malethu overthrew and dispossessed the Bhars only two hundred years 
ago. The Bais of Sohwal and 'SHat aided in the suppression of the Bhars four 
hundred years ago. The Bais of TJchh&pali did the same about the same 
period. The Bais of R^mpi^r Bhagun Tikrt fought the Bhars in the time of the 
emperor Jehftngtr. The Bais of Gonda took service under the Bhar chief some 
three hundred years back, embraced the opportunity of killing him, and seized 
his estates. The great Bais families holding lands in the pargannah of Man- 
galsi, expelled the Bhars from two to three hundred years ago. The Mahome- 
dans residing there state that Mangal Sen, from whose name the word Mangalsi 
is derived, was a Bhar. 

I have already referred to the territory in the Gorakhpiir district, now 
occupied by the Eausik Rajpoots, and formerly occupied by the Bhars, who 
were driven out from their lands, or destroyed, like the rest of their race. 

The Rajpoot tribes, although the principal, were not the only enemies of 
the Bhars. The Mahomedans also, at various times, settled in many places on 
their lands. In the Allahabad district the pargannahs of Ghail and Eardlt are 

(a) Report of the Bhadoht Pargannah, pp. 4, 5, 8 ; Mr. G. Raike*8 Settlement Records of the Eantit 
Pargannah, Sec. 6. 

(b) Report of Revenae Settlement^ Allahabad, Vol. 11., Part I, Sec. 45 ; Settlement Report of the 
Azimgarh Difltrict, Vol. I., Sec 24. 


'almost entirely in the occupation of Mahomedan proprietors. Being near the city 
dtself in which the N^im, or chief local officer, and his underlings, resided, it is 
not remaricable that these pargannahs should have fallen a prey to their cupidity. 
When the kingdom of Jaunpiftr was established, in the fourteenth century, all 
this part of the country formed a portion of the king of Jaunpftr's dominions ; 
and remained so until the downfall of the last king, Hussain Khan, towards the 
-end of the fifteenth century. 

If the dates given above be correct, it is plain that the Bhars, not a great 
while ago, were the lords of the soil over a considerable portion of the Benares 
Province and the Province of Oudh. It does not appear that, at any time, they 
possessed sovereign power. It is probable that they peacefully acknowledged 
the supremacy of the reigning monarch in these Provinces for the time being, 
£rst of the kings of Eanouj, then of the first Mahomedan emperors, then of the 
kings of JaunpAr, and lastly of the Mogul emperors. Whether in the dark 
middle ages of Indian history, prior to the invasions of Mahmiid of Ghazni and 
his hosts, and after the fall and expulsion of the Buddhists, the Bhars were ever 
independent rulers, is a problem which cannot be solved. 

Yet what has become of the old Bhar race ? Their fate has been most dis- 
astrous, inasmuch as, they have not only been robbed of their lands and of all 
authority incident to wealth and rank, but their conquerors have plunged them 
in the lowest depths of humiliation. Their present condition proves conclusively 
that they were ever regarded by their oppressors as fair game, to be hunted 
down and destroyed. Not content with doing their utmost to exterminate the 
Bhars during long centuries of grinding tyranny, they have degraded the sur- 
vivors of the race to the most abject condition in the social scale. Here and there, 
in many places, as will presently be shown, Bhars are still found ; but, with few 
exceptions, their state is one of great social ignominy. They are largely em- 
ployed to tend swine, an office which in India only the most despised and dis- 
reputable classes will undertake. Perhaps this office is a remnant of the old 
-habits of the Bhars, and indicates, as is indeed almost certain, that their ances- 
tors ate pork and the flesh of other animals. By some persons, the Bhars ariB 
included in the caste of Pd^sis, one of the most ignoble of the non-Hindu castes. 

It would be interesting to learn the history of the degradation of a race of 
people, of enterprise and skill, of originality and singular practical ability, which 
it is evident once characterized them in no ordinary degree. Their supplanters , 
whether Rajpoots, Brahmans, or Mahomedans, though more civilized and refined, 
are not to be compared with the humbler aborigines, whom they have ruined 


in regard to the great works of public utility which have been produced in the 
land. In default of such historical information — ^which indeed there is little 
probabiUty of our ever acquiring— the only explanation of the circumstance 
that I can give is, that their present miserable condition is the result of the pride 
and intolerance of their conquerors. As a non- Aryan tribe, they were consi- 
dered impure, and altogether unfit to be the companions of the twice-born and 
their associates. Their industry, their natural gifts, their energy and perse- 
verence, constituted, in the judgment of these high-caste intolerants, no claim to 
their consideration ; on the contrary, may have furnished a reason, in addition to 
their religious uncleanness, for depressing them as low as possible. The mental 
superiority of the Aryan races over the Bhars, and other similar abori^nal 
tribes, admits of no dispute ; and it is equally certain that, in industry and 
practical sagacity, they were barely equal to them. This is proved by the fact, 
patent to all residing in those parts of India to which special reference has been 
made in this chapter, that there are more numerous remains of their mechanical 
ability and skill in that tract than of all the Rajpoot and other Aryan tribes that 
succeeded them. In the view of the author, special measures should be adopted 
by philanthropists for the social and political regeneration of the Bhar, the 
Seorl, which has suffered a like degradation, and other aboriginal tribes. Well- 
informed and generous Hindus, who are deriving incalculable benefit from British 
rule in India, aspirants for political distinctions and favors, men animated, or 
professing to be animated, with noble desires for the enlightenment of their 
fellow countrymen, may fairly be called upon to render efficient aid in this enter- 
prise. Nor should the Government withhold a helping hand. It has paid little 
practical attention to these despised classes hitherto. This is a grave, though 
unintentional, error. Why should not the Bhar, and the Seorl, have a chance 
to recover their lost social position ? The Government has it in its power to 
afford them this chance. Has it yet the will ? 

A few of the Bhar tribe, although they may not have saved themselves 
from social contempt, are still in possession of property and comparative inde- 
pendence. While not a single Bhar landed-proprietor exists in the Bhadoht 
pargannah of the Mirzaptlr district, there are two Bhar landlords, or were not 
long since, in the neighbouring pargannah of Eantit, in the same district. But 
these men, disloyal to their tribe, though wise in their generation, feeling the 
grievous burden of their social position, affect a Rajpoot title, notwithstanding that 
it is well known they are descended directly from the Bhars. The extensive tract 
in the Yindhya Hills, known as the Talluqa of Koindlh, belongs to a Bhar clan. 


In the Allahabad district this unfortunate race seems to have been well 
nigh extinguished. There are, however, three Bhar villages in the Khairagarh 
pargannahj namely Majera, Ealiyftnpiir, and Omndcha, the families of which are 
said to have right to six others, although in reality only occupying these three. 
It is probable that the Bhars, driven away from more civiUzed regions, retreated 
into the wild jungle of Khairagarh, and remained there long after multitudes of 
their race in other places had been destroyed. But they were finally expelled 
by the present Raja of MUnda, to whom reference has been already made. The 
Arail and Barrah pargannahs have also Bhars residing in them. They are like- 
wise met with in every village oipargannah Saltmp^r Majholt in the Gorakhpiir 
district. In Sh&h&bftd they still held a portion of the extensive domains formerly 
in the possession of the tribe. A pargannah of Chota Nagpiir is called 

In fact, the Bhars still cling with pertinacity to the country in which their 
more fortunate ancestors flourished for so many generations. In most of the 
cities and towns, and in not a few of the villages likewise, scattered members of 
the tribe are found. They exhibit little tribal cohesiveness or esprit de corps^ 
and are utterly destitute of spirit and enterprise. In the Ghazipiir district alone, 
there are fifty-six thousand Bhars ; in Gorakhpftr, sixty -three thousand ; in Azim- 
garh, sixty-nine thousand ; in Benares, thirty-three thousand ; and many more in 
other places. Bhars are commonly employed as village policemen, and also as 
ploughmen* It is said that there are properly two divisions of them, the Bhars 
and the R&jbhars, the latter difiering firom the former in not eating swine's flesh, 
and being regarded, consequently, as more honorable than they. It is not im- 
probable that they may be descended from the old Bhar nobility. Rajpoots are 
in the habit of purchasing female children from the R&j bhars, and marrying them 
to their sons : this arises from the habit of infanticide which has existed for so 
long among some of the Rajpoot tribes. 

In spite of the pertinacity with which, if tradition* is correct, the higher 
castes kept aloof from Bhar alliances, they were not always successful in doing 
so. In the Allahabad district, for instance, three examples are found of unions 
with Bhar families. Mr. G. Ricketts, in his Memorandum, states that ^^ three 
influential castes or clans claim an admixture of Bhar blood. These are the 
Bharors, Garhors, and Tikaits. The two former are not numerous. They are 
landed proprietors in the southern portions of this (Allahabad) district; and 
appear to be a connecting link between the higher castes, who are generally 
landed proprietors, and those inferior castes whose lot is servitude. The Tikaits 


are nmneroas, and possess mvxk influence* A Ghauhftn leader carried off his 
Bhar chiefs daughter. The descendants ore still proprietoors of a portion of that 
Bhar chiefs possessions'* (a). 

Mr. P. Gamegy, in his Notes on the Races of Oudh, indulges the strange 
notion, that the Bhars are of Rajpoot origin, and the GherfLs also, ^^ and such 
like.'^ And yet he acknowledges that the ^^ weight of opinion seems to be in 
favor of the belief that the Bhars may have been the so-called aborigines of 
Eastern Oudh, which formerly included Azimgarh and Gorakhp^r." This view 
he dissents from, holding that, if they were ^ not the aborigines of Eastern 
Oudh, they were, at any rate, Rajpoots in R&ma's time, or long before the 
Ghristian era" (b). 

Whether the Bhars were originally connected with the Gheiiks, Seorts, and 
other ancient races of Northern India, is a question of considerable ethnological 
interest. The Cherfts are sometimes spoken of as a branch of the Bhars; 
and as to the Seorts, it was the opinion of Sir H. Elliot, that there was great 
reason to suppose that the Cherfts and Seorls were formerly one and the same ; 
yet he says it is very difficult to trace the connexion between these tribes. It is 
certainly remarkable that the pargannah of Barhar in the Mirzapdr district, 
which I have no doubt should be ^^ Bharhar," the second syllable ^^ har" being 
the reduplication of the ^^ har" of the first syllable, is, at the present time, partly 
inhabited by a race of Seorts. 

My own belief is, that many of the aboriginal tribes of India were originally 
blended together. All investigation into the races of India goes to prove, that, 
at various epochs, separate tribes have spread over the land, one pushing for- 
ward another, the weaker and less civilized retreating to the jungles and hilly 
fastnesses, and the stronger, in their turn, giving place to fresh and more vigor- 
ous clans. It may be impossible to prove, therefore, what is nevertheless highly 
probable, that, in very ancient times, most of these tribes were exceedingly few 
in number, for it is a singular circumstance, opposed indeed, when regarded 
superficially, to the assumption I am making, that the races of India, whether 
Aryan or non- Aryan, for a long succession of ages, have largely maintained 
their distinctive individuality, notwithstanding the fluctuations in their respect- 
ive histories. Still, to scxne extent, they have united with one another ; and 
it is indisputable that a large number of the low castes of India have sprung 
from imions between the races. In many instances a careful scrutiny can detect 

(a) Mr. Ricketts* Report, p. 128. 

(h) Mr. F. Garnegj's Races of Oudh, p. 19. 


in these castes, not only their special differences^ but also the very names by 
which the clans they represent were primarily designated. 

This scattering of tribes over the country has produced a result which 
perhaps is not found on the same scale in any other part of the world, namely 
that every district in India has its peculiar clans, with their own traditions and 
annals ; and has, in addition, a host of fragmentary and isolated remnants of lost 
or vanquished tribes, like the Bhars, of which, in some cases, scarcely more than 
their bare names can now be traced. 

But the subject of the history of the aboriginal races of India, is one which, 
although material is being gradually collected for its elucidation, is nevertheless 
so intricate and involved, that it will require long and patient research before 
satisfactory conclusions are attained. The unravelling of the tangled skein of 
Indian history, is necessarily a work of time, and of great difficulty. Yet some- 
thing has been already accomplished by earnest, conscientious, and painstaking 
laborers. Exceedingly harassing as the task undoubtedly is, still knot after 
knot of the disordered thread is being gradually unloosened. The enterprise is 
one demanding perseverance and industry, which will achieve in this, as in most 
pursuits, far greater and more brilliant results than the sudden efforts of an 
intense and fitful enthusiasm. 

In addition to my own independent investigations on the subject of this 
chapter, I have received considerable assistance in its preparation from the fol- 
lowing works : — ^Mr. Plowden's General Report of the Census of the North- 
western Provinces for 1865 ; Mr. G. Ricketts' Memorandum on the Castes of 
Allahabad, in the General Report ; Report on the Bhadohee Fargannah of thQ 
Family Domains of the Maharaja of Benares, by Mr. Duthoit, Deputy Super- 
intendent ; Settlement Records of the Kantit Pargannah, MirzapAr, by Mr. C. 
Baikes ; Revenue Settlement Reports of Gorakhpilr, Allahabad, and Azimgarh ; 
Benares Magazine, Vol. II; Dr. Wilton Oldham's Report on the GhazipOr Disr 
trict; Sir H. Elliot's Supplemental Glossary; Memoirs of the Emperor Baber; 
Mr. C. A. Elliott's Chronicles of Oonao, a District in Oudh; and Mr. P. 
Camegy's Races, Tribes, and Castes of the Province of Oudh. 




Probably, the Bhars, Seorte, and Cherfts, together with other aboriginal 
tribes which have not been so successful in maintaining their identity, were in a 
remote period of antiquity only one race. This is a conjecture which, from the 
absence of historical records and other trustworthy data, hardly admits of proof. 
It was the opinion of Sir H. Elliot that the Seorts and Cherfts belonged to one 
family ; but Buchanan thinks they were originally two distinct tribes. It is 
certain that in the historical period, commencing six or seven hundred years 
ago, in which the Bhars, Seorts, and Cher^ flourished, they were separate and 
independent, or quasi-independent, tribes of great industry and enterprise. The 
period is related to a prior one, of longer or shorter duration, when these races 
were manifestly in existence, though little of a definite character is revealed 
respecting them. 

It is a singular circumstance, the proofs of which are in such abundance, 
and are so diversified, that there is no resisting their weight, that the province 
of Benares, and the province of Oudh, besides portions of other provinces 
contiguous to them, should, in the post-Buddhist age of India, have been chiefly 
in the hands and under the jurisdiction of these and kindred aboriginal tribes, 
subsequent to an epoch when it is equally certain that they were for many 
centuries subject to genuine Hindu races. 

The tradition of the Cherfts is that they belong to the great Serpent lUce, 
whose traces and descendants are found in various parts of India, It is not 
improbable, therefore, that they are related to the Nftga tribes in the Assam 
hills, to the aborigines of K&gpftr, to the Nftgbansl Rajpoots, and to the 
wandering Nfiga devotees. The Cherft has distinctive features, but this is 
true likewise of most of the aboriginal tribes, and also more or less of the 
lower castes of Hindus, which are a mixture of Hindu and aboriginal blood. 
Jn the Shah&bftd district, and perhaps elsewbere, the Gh^^ri^ l^i^ve ^ peculiai* 


custom^ noticed by Buchanan, of appointing a Raja for every five or six fami- 
lies, who is created in the Rajpoot fashion by the application of a mark or 
thlka to the forehead. He makes a strong statement respecting them, that 
they were once lords of the Gangetic provinces, and probably possessed para- 
mount authority in India (a). 

Although this opinion of Buchanan cannot in its entirety be supported by 
proofs, yet it is incontestible that the Cherfts were formerly a powerful race. 
They occupied tracts of country from Behar to Gorakhpiir, in the north, as far 
as the banks of the Soane in the Mirzapftr district, to the south. All the east 
of Ghazipiir, says Dr. W. Oldham, " was the country of the CherAs. Very 
extensive remains of brick and debris, covering between twenty and thirty 
acres, are to be seen at Fakka Kot, on the Sarjii, in EopS.chit ; and remains of 
earthen embankments, still larger, are at Wyna, in Pargannah Balliah. With 
regard to these places, no prevailing tradition, as far as I can ascertain, has 
survived ; but the people of the country say that, from the Kot of BlrpAr, on 
the Ganges, a great Cherii Raja, Tikam Deo, ruled over the Mahomedab&d 
pargannah when their ancestors first came. Mahlpa Cherft, who had bis 
strong-hold at the deserted village of Deorl, north of the Sftr&ha Lake, was, 
on the advent of the Hindus, the lord of the delta between the Ghogra and 
the Ganges" (i). There is a tradition floating among the people that this 
Lake was excavated by the Cher&s under Raja Siirat, though probably it is an 
old reach of the Ganges. It is remarkable that in the Ghazipftr district the 
race has been so completely exterminated that not an individual remains. 
Yet in the Bahia pargannah of the neighbouring district of Shahib&d, the 
Cherfts are found in considerable numbers. Indeed, until lately this district 
and others in Behar, were, to a large extent, the property of the tribe. The 
Hayobans Rajpoots of Haldl have family documents, showing that, while they 
were in Bahia, they waged perpetual warfare with the Cherfts during a period 
,qf several hundred years, and at last were completely victorious. But even 
as recently as the reign of Shir Sh&h, the CherAs were a formidable enemy (c). 

The extensive tract of forest land to the south of the district of Mirzapdr 
was at one time completely in the hands of aboriginal tribes, such as the CherAs, 
Bhars, and Kharw&rs, which, after a severe and prolonged struggle, were even- 
tually subdued by the Chandel Rajpoots. The Chords are still found scattered 

(a) Bachanan*8 Eastern India, Vol. I., p. 494. 

(h) Statistical Memoir of the Qhazipik District, Fart L, p. 46. 

(c) Ihidy p. 51. 



among the Ehymore hills. The Raja of Palamau, although affecting a Raj- 
poot origin^ is stated to he in reality a Cherft. ^ For years/ says Dr. Oldham^ 
^ two Cherft rohbers, named Norah and Korah, infested the Soane valley under 
the great peak of Mangesar, and, armed with bows and arrows, committed 
many daring robberies and some murders. Their arrest could not be effected, 
as after each of their crimes they ascended the steep cliffs of Mangesar, and 
were harboured by the rude villagers living on the summit.' They were after- 
wards captured by the villagers, at the instigation of the Magistrate, and were 
brought to him ^ tied down on string beds.' Dr. Oldham suggests that the 
Cherand pargannah and Cherand Island, in the Sftran district, received their 
names from this tribe (a). 

Traces of the Cherfts are met with over a wide extent of country. Remains 
of buildings imputed to them still exist at Sasser&m, RS^mgarh, and Buddha 
Gya. For several hundred miles to the west, as far as the Central Do§.b, 
tradition points here and there to them as original lords of the soil (6). The 
ancient monuments of the district of Shah&bS,d are chiefly attributed to the 
Cherfts. The race was subdued in that district by the Seorls, another aboriginal 
tribe, who, in their turn, were destroyed by the Rajpoots. 


The Th&rus are one of the aboriginal races of India now in a depressed 
and abject condition, yet formerly of considerable influence and power. In 
the Gorakhpftr district the ruins in the villages of Ratkas and Deoganj, near 
LMganj, are traditionally regarded by the people as having been the residences 
of Tharus in ancient times. The Tilpftr pargannah near the Tarai was once 
in the possession of this tribe, who were expelled therefrom by Tilvtkrftm Sen 
by the help of the Banj&ras. He gave his name to the pargannah^ and his 
family held it until they were overthrown by the Nawab K^sim Ali Eiiiin. 
It was ceded to the British by the Nepalese in the year 1815. The jungle of 
Bilrldi in Tuppeh Sehra was assigned to a colony of Th&rus from the Nepal 
territory, and by them brought under cultivation. 

A clan of Th&rus, called Barw&ik, a race of Tibetan origin, occupies 
villages, says Mr. Beames, in the plains of northern GorakhpAr and Champ&- 
ran. I suspect, however, that these Barw&iks are not a clan of Th&rus, but 
rather hereditary oflSce-bearers among the Th&rus (c). 

(a) Statistical Memoir of the Qhazipiir District, Part I., p. 51. 

(b) Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., pp. 60, 6 h 

(c) Report of the Gensos of the North- Western Provinces for 1866; Appendix B., p. 62. 


In his short essay on the Tarai pargannahs, Mr. E. Colvin, formerly 
superintendent of the pargannahs, remarks that '' the Th&ra traditions state 
that they come from Chittore, and refer to Jaimal and Pattah. They state 
that they were driven from their home and settled here. The reference would 
seem to indicate the third sack of Chittore, that is, by Akbar, about 1660 A. 1). 
They claim to have been originally Bajpoots ; and state that their ancestors 
lost their caste by taking to intoxicating liquors and rearing fowls. I have 
never heard from them any allusion to a G-oorkha or hill origin, an idea which 
their type of feature itself suggests. The Th&rus, as the Bhuksas, are divided 
into gotras ; and interspersed with them are other tribes, who are generally 
called Th&rus, but who are quite distinct" (a). The claim to be Rajpoots put 
forward by this and other aboriginal tribes, must be regarded with great sus- 
picion. In every case, I believe, it arises simply from the low social position to 
which all these tribes have sunk, and the natural desire to be regarded as 
of honorable origin. 

Mr. Colvin has an important remark on the derivation of the word Thftru. 
" A Th&ru, it is true, will say, * we came to live in the Tarai, and became 
Th&rus ;' but if the commonly accepted derivation of Tarai, that is, tard hud^ to 
be wet or damp, is the true one, the initial th of the Th&ru is unaccounted for. 
The word Tarua, however, by which they are commonly known, has no sound 
of the A." This tribe, says Mr. Colvin, has no acknowledged leaders, but an 
office called barwdik is hereditary in certain families. The Th&rus live in houses 
made of posts driven into the ground, with beams resting on them. " The 
walls are made of reeds, locally termed tant^ tied with grass, and generally 
smeared over with mud and cowdung, with a thatched roof. The Th&rus keep 
their residences scrupulously clean. For wells, which they only use for drink* 
ing purposes, and never for irrigation, a hollowed tree is sunk into the 
ground" (6). 


This tribe of aborigines existed side by side with the Bhars, Cherds, Eols, 
Rharw&rs, and other indigenous races, having branches or clans in various 
directions. They were settled in the Mirzapilr district probably before the 
Mahomedan period in India commenced. There is reason to believe that, when 
Bhola Sirwa» a Rajpoot Chief of Hastin&piir, about the eleventh century of 

(a) Report of the Censaa of the North- Weetern ProYincet for lSd5 ; Appendix B^ p. (K>. 

(b) /6u2, pp. 61, 62. 


the Christian era, settled in the tract, afterwards designated Bhola pargannah 
from his own name, he came in contact with the Seorls. These people were 
finally ejected from their estates by the Qiladar, or commandant of the Fort 
of Chunftr, to make way for his Mussalman followers, at the close of the twelfth 
century (a). 

From traditions current in the Shah&b&d district, we know that the 
Cherfts and the Seorts came into violent collision, which terminated in the 
triumph of the latter, and in the ejection of the former from their ancient home. 
The Seorls, however, had to give place, like other aboriginal tribes, to colonies 
of Rajpoots and Brahmans, not only in Shah&b&d, but also in all the tracts in 
which they were settled. They were once strong in Ghazipillr, but they have 
entirely abandoned it. The plains of the Ganges, the old haunts of the tribe in 
the times of its prosperity, are annually visited by a race of Seorts from 
Central India. These much resemble the gipsies of Europe. " Their women 
wear a tartan dress, and often have a kind of horn projecting from the forehead 
as an ornament. They live in light and easily-moved booths made of grass 
and reeds ; are fond of intoxicating drinks ; and eat the flesh of swine and 
oxen. They procure wives for their young men by kidnapping female children ; 
and live principally by jugglery, coining false money, and theft. During the 
hot season they often attack by night the banjdras or travelling merchants, 
when halting at the camping grounds amid the hills and forests of Sirgdja, and 
drive off their pack bullocks, which, during the rainy season, they pasture in 
the jungle, and, early in November, bring for sale into the Mirzapiir district." 
One woman of the tribe whom Dr. Oldham^ the narrator, saw, had with her a 
sack containing the bones of her deceased husband, who had died during the 
annual migration southwards. ^ She had carried his remains about with her 
for hundreds of miles, in order that she might throw them into the sacred waters 
of the Ganges. This fact seems to indicate that the Ganges' valley was once 
the home of the tribe, as it is only people residing within a moderate distance 
of the river who are in the habit of committing to its waters the remains of 
their dead' (i). 

Traces of this race are still found in the district of Ghazipiir, and are an 
evidence at once both of their power and skill. About four miles west of the 
city of this name is a lofty mound, called a fort by the natives, who ascribe 
its erection to the Seorts. Sculptured stones, bricks, and a great abundance 

(a) Mr. Wynjard^fl Fargannah Report. 

(5) Memoirs of the Ghazipiir District, p. 50, 


of debris, are scattered upon it. The fort is situated near the junction of the 
Gangt with the Ganges. According to tradition it was formerly occupied by 
a Seort Chief. The country to the south of the Ganges, bordered by the 
Gangi, and also by the present pargannah of Zam&niah, was once in the hands 
of this tribe (a), 


A low caste or tribe employed in cutting down jungle from year to 
year, and in conveying the wood to Benares and other places for sale. The Kols 
are also water-carriers and fishermen. In all probability they are connected 
with the aboriginal tribes of Kols found in Chhot& MgpAr, Mirzapdr, and other 
parts of the country. The word KAli, Anglicized cooly^ is derived from these 
people. This is not the place for a disquisition on the Kols, or I might 
attempt to show, what I believe is not difficult of proof, that representatives 
of the Kol family may be traced over a large portion, not only of the Benares 
province, but also of the neighbouring provinces. The Bhars, the Kols, the 
Cherfts, the Seoris, and others, were indisputably former occupants of all this 
part of India throughout a circuit of many miles, and had their own princes, 
if not their own government. They have long since lost their power and 
importance, and wherever they are discovered living among the Hindus, like 
the Kols of Benares, are in a very servile condition, and are as hewers of wood 
and drawers of water to the rest of the community. Respecting the Kol tribes 
of Ghhotft N&gpih*, much interesting information may be gathered from Colonel 
Dalton's Essay in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal for 1866, 
Part n. (i). 

One division of the Kantit pargannah^ in the MirzapAr district, namely 
that now styled the tuppeh or sub-division of Sakttsgarh, was, in ancient times, 
occupied by the Kols, and seems never to have been in the possession of the 
Bhars. The Kols continued to hold it long after the Rajpoots had established 
themselves in their neighbourhood, the chief reason of this being, that neither 
their lands, nor their chattels, nor their own persons, furnished a bait sufficiently 
tempting. They were a people living in swamps in the dense jungle, their 
favourite dwellings being stone caverns surrounded by deep pools of water. 
Here they lived in comparative independence and security. They were, how* 
ever, eventually subdued, though in what era does not appear ; but in the 

(a) Memoirs of the Ghazipilr District, p. 46. 

{py The Essay is in ft Special Number of the Journal, devoted to the Ethnology of India, and is 
entitled '' The Kob of Chhotft NfigpCbr,** by Lieut-Gol. Dalton, Commissioner of Chhotft Nigp^. 


reign of Akbar a small tax was imposed upon tliem. When Sakat Singh, a 
descendant of Gftdhan Deo, was Raja of Eantit, he seized the country occupied 
by the Eols for non-payment of the tax, and, apparently with the permission 
of the emperor, annexed it to his own estate. On the site of their stronghold 
he erected a fort, which is still known as the Sakttsgarh fort. In its neigh* 
bourhood the jungles continue to be infested ?rith tigers and other wild animals ; 
and for tiger-shooting perhaps no region in India surpasses it. The Eols have 
not been utterly exterminated, but are yet found in some places, and are mostly 
employed in agriculture. The iuppeh was formerly called Eol&na, a term even 
now occasionally applied to it (a). The Eol king seems to have had his 
residence at Golhanpiir (or Grolharpftr) after Sakat Singh's seizure of the 
country (b). 

Kharwdr or Kairwdr. 

An aboriginal tribe inhabiting the pargannahs of Barhar, Agort, Bijaigarb, 
Singrault, and other places to the south of the Mirzapiir district. The Baland 
Rajas of this tribe, who flourished about seven hundred years ago, held possession 
of a considerable portion of this territory, from which they were expelled by a 
colony of Chandel Rajpoots in the beginning of the thirteenth century (c). 

The Eharw&rs state that their original seat was Ehaira Garb ; yet their 
name is said to be derived from their occupation of extracting katha or catechu 
from the khair or catechu tree, an occupation, however, which many of them 
affect now to despise. It is significant that a sub-division of the tribe are 
called Ehairaha Kharw&rs. Although Ehaira Garh is spoken of as the ancient 
home of the race, yet the members of the tribe are unable to state explicitly its 
exact situation. There is a pargannah of this name in the Allahabad district, 
which is probably the territory in question. One reason, in addition to its 
name, leading to this supposition, is, that the pargannah is inhabited by an 
aboriginal tribe of hillmen, called Ben Bans, an appellation though not restricted 
to the Eharwirs yet chiefly applied to them. The present Raja of Singraull is 
a Eharw&r, but styles himself Ben Bans {d). 

Judging from the extensive ruins and * debris scattered over the country 
between the Nawa Ntlth stream of Chaura as far as Goth&n! on the Bijal, it 
is manifest that the . site was once occupied by a considerable city, which, 

(a) Mr. C. Raikes* Settlement Records of the Slantit Pai^^aiuiab, Sect. 4. 

(h) Ibid, Note by W. R. 

(o) PargaiMuJi Reports <^ Hw Mirsap^ Diitrict, by Mr. Roberta, VoL Y., pp. 83«^5. 

{d) Ibid. 


according to local tradition, was as large as Benares. A few structural buildings 
only now remain. There are several temples at Goth&nl, and in the fort of 
Agori. Ruins also are found on most of the neighbouring hills. The fort was 
for ages the abode of the Baland Rajas, whose memory still lingers among the 
hills and valleys. All the great architectural works found in those tracts are 
ascribed to the Balands, who are believed to have ruled over an enterprising 
and industrious people. It is remarkable that they are said to have erected 
their buildings by the labours of Asiirya architects, whom they retained in their 
employ. The forts of Bijaigarh and Bardi, and the large tanks at Pftr and 
Eor&dt, are fruits of their skill. 

The struggle between the Mahomedan invaders and Prithi RSj caused the 
dispersion of many Rajpoot clans over large tracts of these provinces; yet this 
was not the only influence contributing to such a result. The two rival Raj- 
poot houses of Delhi and Eanouj, weakening one another, and so preparing the 
way for their final destruction, in the shock administered to the great families 
by whose instrumentality they had maintained their position and preserved their 
strength, were still further enfeebled by the flight of numbers of their follow- 
ers, who abandoning the conflict sought rest and quietness in other regions. In 
the successes gained by Prithi Rdj the Ohandel Rajas of Mahoba suffered 
greatly. Two princes of the family, Barl Mai and Part Mai, flying before the 
victorious arms of Pritht RSj, sought refuge with Raja Maddan, the Baland 
ruler of the Kharw&rs, and entered into his service. Being skilled in war, and 
possessing greater aptitude for posts of importance than the aborigines who 
held them, the Chandels so ingratiated themselves with the Raja that they 
became his personal attendants, and gained both honors and authority. They 
were placed over his army and revenue, and thus acquired immense influence. 
Their opportunity for action and for the display of their real character and 
object at length arrived, and they played the game of treachery so often played 
by Rajpoot emigrants with the simple aboriginal rulers in those earlier times, 
and always successfully. The death of Raja Maddan was approaching. It was 
reckoned unlucky to die on the southern bank of the Soane, and he was conse- 
quently removed to the northern bank, where he remained awaiting his end. 
Feeling it drawing near, he called for his son that he might give him his last 
counsels and instructions, having first ordered the removal of all his attendants. 
Dim of sight, his strength failing, he was deluded into the belief that his son had 
obeyed his commands, and was the only person within hearing of his voice* 
The son, however, had not been summoned, and an indistinct murmur from the 


lips of a Chandel represented the utterance of his mouth. The dying man was 
deceived like Isaac, and without suspicion unburdening his heart and gave the 
important and eagerly desired information of the place in which the family 
treasure was deposited. On the death of the Raja the Chandels seized the fort 
and estates, and became the rulers over the principality. The son was at the 
time hunting in the forest, and hearing of the circumstance was able to escape 
to the hills with a few attendants (a). 

The remainder of the tale I will give in the words of Mr. Roberts : — " On 
arriving at manhood the grandsons of the Baland Raja, Ghfttam and others, 
with their adherents, defeated the Chandels and got possession of the fort, put- 
ting to death all the members of the reigning Raja. One Ranee, who was far 
gone in pregnancy, made her escape into the territory of Eantit (now one of 
the pargannahs of the Mirzapftr district), with a single female attendant. On 
the road the Ranee was delivered of a male child ; and died soon after giving 
him birth. The nurse took the child, and placing it in a tray (oranjj pursued 
her road until she came to the house of a Seori (one of the aboriginal races) 
zemindar ( or land-owner), a man of great consideration, where she sought and 
obtained refuge. The child was brought up in the zemind&r's family, and was 
named Oran, to commemorate the incident of his having been placed in a tray 
foran) after his birth. 

** As he grew up he excelled in feats of arms and horsemanship, and was 
remarkable for his fine person. He was designed by the zemindftr to be the 
husband of his daughter ; but his accomplishments and manly beauty having 
attracted the notice of the Ghaharw&r Raja of Bijaipdr (Kantit), the Raja 
caused inquiries to be made concerning the youth. When it was made known 
to the Raja that the young man was the son of one of the Ranees of the 
family of the Chandel Rajas of Agort, the Raja caused him to be taken from the 
house of the Seori, and to become an inmate of the royal house of BijaipiHr. 
The Raja gave him his daughter in marriage, and ultimately assembling a 
large force drove Raja Gh&tam from Agori, and restored Oran Deo (after hav- 
ing administered the tilaky or mark, applied to the forehead, conferring on 
him the title of Raja) to the Rajaship of Agorl, Barhar, Bijaigarh, and 
Bardi" (6). And thus the iron heel of the Rajpoot, as in many otiber instances, 
stamped out for ever the political life of the aboriginal race. 

(a) Pargannali Reports of the Mirzapiir District, bj Mr. Roberts, formerly Magistrate and Collector of 
Mirzapur, and lately one of the Judges of the High Court, Allahabad, Vol. Y. 
(() Mirzapur Fargannah Reports, by Mr. Roberts, Vol. V. 


Although Qran Deo was united in marriage to a Gaharw&r RSjpfttanl, yet 
lie did not cast off the Seorl's daughter, by whom he had several children, 
whose descendants are scattered about the Barhar pargannah^ and although 
called Chandels by courtesy, are known to have tainted blood. 

For five hundred years the family of Oran Deo continued in the undisputed 
occupation of the territory ; yet ruin came upon it at last, about the middle 
of the last century, when Raja Sambhu Sah succumbed to the power of 
Balwant Singh, the famous Raja of Benares, by whom he was ejected from his 
ancestral possessions ; but the family was subsequently restored by the British 
Government to a portion of its former estates. The present Raja of Barhar 
is a descendant of Oran Deo and his Gaharw&r wife. 

It is not improbable that the Baland Rajas, and after them the Chandel 
Rajas, for several generations, were really independent princes ; yet it is well 
known that the later Chandel Rajas acknowledged the supremacy of the Maho- 
medan emperors, and paid land revenue into the treasury of the Nazim at 
Cbun&r, in skins of elephants and deer, bamboos, timber, and other forest pro- 
ductions, to the value of eight thousand rupees yearly. 

The descendants of the original Baland Rajas reside in the territory of the 
Maharaja of Rewa, where they are proprietors of the Marwas pargannah. 
They still cherish the hope of one day regaining their ancient possessions, and 
are said to have made a vow that they will not bind the turban on their heads 
until they are once more established in the fort of Agori, the seat of their 

According to tradition thirty Baland Kharw&r Rajas were in succession 
rulers of Agorl, and twenty-two Chandel Rajas. Further information respect- 
ing the latter will be found in the chapter concerning the Chandel Rajpoots (a). 


In the jungles to the south of the Mirzapftr district is a very rude tribe, of 
primitive habits, and leading a precarious life. Their practice in raising crops 
is peculiar. Before the rainy season commences, timber is cut down in the 
forest, burnt, and reduced to ashes. When the seed is sown, the ashes are 
scattered over the ground together with it. This method of cultivation is called 
bawanruj from which word the tribe appears to have received its designation. 


(a) Minapflr Pargannah Reports, by Mr. Roberts, Vol. V. 

K— 2 


Theharreflt eignan wbidi is reaped i n ambun s Ae tribe only far a few mondia. 
For die rest of the time tbejaie dependant on die flesh of animak and tiie roots 
of trees. The Bawiiyis are apparendj few in nnmher, and are fevmd scat- 
tered about the hiBs (a). 

It should be added that die bawanra method of cnltiTation is pursued by 
some of die aboriginal CherOs and Kharwftn, as weD as by the tribe already 

(a) Mimpmr Pargnosb Eefiorti, bj Mr. Robola, ToL Y., pi 192. 






This and the Eanjar tribe, in their normal condition, lead a vagrant life, 
avoiding houses, and preferring the shade of trees, or light temporary habita- 
tions, to a fixed and permanent home. Their old habits, however, are being 
gradually broken down, for the steady and onward progress of civilization in 
India is influencing for good even the most untamed and vagabond tribes. 

These two races, although their modes of life are so much alike, are. never- 
theless quite distinct in India. It is commonly believed that the Gipsies of 
Europe have sprung from them. It would be deeply interesting to know in 
what respects the Gipsies of Spain differ from those of England, France^ and 
other western countries, and also from one another ; and likewise whether the 
points of unlikeness are traceable in the clans of the two Indian tribes to * which 
they are supposed to be related.. 

Wilson says that the Nats are ^^ a tribe of vagrants, who live by feats of 
^dexterity, sleight of hand, fortune-telling, and the like, and correspond in their 
habits with the Gipsies of Europe " (a). Yet aU the members of the ' tribe 
have not the same occupation. It professes to have seven dans, which are, for 
the most part, separated from one another by their occupations. These are 
. the following : — 

.^ 1« Eshatriya.. 5. Dancers. 

!. 2. Snake^exhibitorsl . 6. Rope-dancers.- 

3. Bear-^exhibitors. 7. Monkey*exhibitors^ 

i - 4. Jugglws. ..'.-. ^ 


I have not learnt what is the connexion between the first or Eshatriya 
clan with the great Eushatriya or Rajpoot tribes. The distinctive professions 
which the clans follow, are perpetuated from father to son. 

The Rope-dancers are expert gymnasts, and perform various clever antics 
with long bamboos. They make use of only one musical instrument, the drum. 

The Nats will eat all kinds of flesh, except beef. They do not drink spirits 
and other intoxicating liquors. I am not aware that any Nat families are to be 
found residing in Benares, although they are constantly seen in the streets and 
suburbs of the city pursuing their peculiar avocations. There are a few families 
living in the town of Grangftpiir, eight miles off. 

In the Bhdgalpftr district the Nats are divided into the northern and 
southern ; the former being designated Chet, and the latter, Mftl. The MSls are 
separated into three clans, viz. 

1* EamarpMi. 3. M&rpftli, 

2. Dangarp&li. 

The Nats, inhabiting the mountains to the north, are called by their 
southern brethren, Samarp&li. All the clans are most probably of the same 
origin (a). 

In Oudh the Nats, according to Mr. P. Camegy, have the following eight 
sub-divisions : — 

il. Eaptirt 
2. BhAtu. 
3. Sarwftnt. 

2. Sanwat. 6. Bareah. 

3. Brijb&si. 7. Mahftwat. 

4. Bachgotl. 8. B&dgar. 

5. Bijaniah. 

The Gwfiliftrls are dealers in cattle; their women bleed, and extract teeth. 
The Sanwats pursue the same trade. These and the two last, namely the 
Mahawats and B&ztgars, are Mahomedans converted from Hinduism. The 
BrijbAsls perform in public by walking on stUts. They bury their dead. The 
Bachgotts are wrestlers, and contend with the single stick. These also bury 
their dead. The Bijaniahs dance on the tight rope. Their dead are buried in 
an upright posture. The Bareahs are not public performers. They are fond 
of attending feasts uninvited. Their dead are buried. The Mah&wats trade in 

(aj Bachanan's Eastern India, Vol II, p. 126. 



cattle. The B&zigars are conjurors. They also bury their dead- All the Nats 
are prone to drink to excess. They are, for the most part, of unclean habits. 
Many of them practise as doctors, and are expert in the use of herbs (a). 

Dr. Wilton Oldham gives the following list of clans of the Nat tribe in the 
Ghazipftr district : — 

1. Rftrl. 

2. Bhantft. 

3. Gw&l. 

4. Lodhra. 

5. Magaiyah. 

6. Jiigilah. 

7. Jhasstth. 


The Kanjar and Nat tribes are supposed to be the same as the Gipsy tribes 
of Spain, England, and other parts of Europe. 

In Benares the Eanjar is a maker of ropes and reed-matting. He also 
twists cotton and hemp into threads, which he sells ; and manufactures large 
brushes for the cleaning of cotton yam. At the commencement of the hot 
season, he takes the sweet-scented kaskas grass and works it into a light 
bamboo frame. In Benares and the North-Western Provinces generally, where 
a hot wind prevails more or less for several months, this frame is inserted in 
the door- ways of bungalows, to the west, the direction in which it invariably 
blows. Being kept well saturated with water thrown upon it from the outside, 
the hot air, as it blows through, becomes suddenly cooled and damped, and enters 
the room to the exhilaration of all within. 

The Kanjar tribe is divided into seven clans : — 

1. Maraiya. 5. 

2. Sankat. 

3. Bhains. 

4. SodH. 


6. Goher. 

7. Dhobt-bans. 

The first six of these clans eat together, and inter-marry, but hold them- 
selves entirely aloof from the last. Only the four first clans are found in 
Benares ; the remaining three inhabit the country further west. The Eanjars 
will not eat beef, but will eat everything else. Some of them are bird-catchers, 
and use a spiked rod for piercing little birds. 

The Nats regard the Kanjars as unclean in comparison with themselves 
The latter, says Mr. P. Carnegy, are known also in the North-Western and 

(a) Mr. p. Garn^'t Notes on the Races of Oadh, pp. 16, 17. 


Central Provinces, as Sansts and Syorfts, and frequently pass themselves off as 
Banj&ras (a). 


A tribe of snake-charmers and jugglers. They rear both snakes and 
scorpions, which they carry about the country for exhibition. In decoying 
snakes from holes, or from any places in which they may have secreted them- 
selves, they are marvellously clever. They seem to accomplish the feat mainlv 
by playing plaintive strains on a musical instrument. In tricks of jugglery 
they appear to be equally accomplished. The musical instrument on which 
they perform in public is called tumbt or tomrt^ and is made from the dried 
gourd of the bitter kaddu plant. It emits a sound like that produced by bag- 


A class of jugglers, thimble-riggers, and adventurers, who attend fairs and 
other festivals like men of the same profession in England. They are notorious 
for all kinds of artifices for making money. They are found in Oudh and in 
the districts to the east. Gorakhp^ alone is said to possess upwards of 
thirteen thousand (b). 


From badha, striking, killing, slaughter. A caste of professional robbers 
and assassins. Formerly, they committed great havoc in the country in asso- 
ciation with Thugs, another class of murderers ; but of late years they have 
been much broken up, and have been compelled to resort to gentler avocations. 
Their chief haunts were in the border country of Oudh, where they lived with 
impunity under the lax government of the Oudh kings. It is impossible, how- 
ever, for such persons to indulge in such pursuits while the administration is in 
the firm hands of British rulers. The Badhaks, therefore, have mostly taken 
to other modes of life, and have mingled with the masses. In some districts 
they are called Khors or Siyftr Marwas, on account of their habits of eating the 
flesh of the jackal (c). 

(a J Mr. P. Canieg7*8 Notes on the Races of Oudli, p. 18. ^ 

(h) Cenaus Report for 1865, Vol. 11., p. 36. * 

(e) Mr. E. A«R^e*8lnfiuiorOa8l»f oftbeNoiA-WeateniFroviDcieiyp. 88; , 






This is one of the most numerous of the inferior castes. Many of its 
memhers are menial servants, especially those of the first or Jaisw&rd. sub- 
division. They are willing, obedient, patient, and capable of great endurance ; 
yet are apt to be light-fingered and deceitful. It is a singular phenomenon, and 
hard to be explained, that, although they come so much in contact with foreign 
residents in India, they should, nevertheless, have been so little improved by 
such intercourse. I believe that of all the Hindus who have been brought 
ext^sively under European influence, they have profited the least. This may 
partly be accounted for, but not wholly, by the degraded condition which they 
have held for many generations, whereby the caste intellect has become perma- 
nently blunted and enfeebled. This inability to assimilate new ideas and to ad- 
vance beyond the old deteriorated mental standard of the caste, iB apparent not 
merely among the Cham&rs, but also among the inferior castes generally. There 
is a marked difference of intellectal power between them and all the superior 


castes, especially the Brahmanical. The vis inertiw of the former is immeasur- 
ably greater than of the latter ; and after the most persistent efforts to educate 
him, the low caste man seldom or never rises to even the mediocrity of ability 
exhibited by the better castes. 

The higher castes look contemptuously on the Cham&rs, and regard them 
as an unclean race. This is owing chiefly, perhaps, to the fact that they are 
traders in leather, an impure substance, in the estimation of Hindus. A Brah- 
man or other Hindu of any strictness will touch nothing made of leather. 


Hence, books bound with this material, are very obnoxious to such a man. 
This feeling, though still very strong in some parts of the country, is becoming 
much enfeebled among Hindus, of all castes, who associate with Europeans, 
or receive instruction in their schools. The word Cham&r comes from Chftm, 
leather ; and the members of the caste are tanners, leather-sellers, leather- 
cutters, leather-dyers, shoemakers, shoemenders, curriers, and harness-makers. 
There is, however, another reason for this supercilious disdain on the part of 
the better castes towards the Cham&rs. It is commonly thought that they do 
not belong to the H^ndu race, except by a very remote relationship ; that, in 
short, they are properly out-castes, and have no right to be regarded as Hindus. 

Who the Chamirs and other inferior castes originally were, has been for 
some time a puzzling question to ethnologists. From their appearance, com- 
plexion, and social position, it has been concluded, that some of them partially, 
and others entirely, are descended. from aboriginal tribes. In this view, in the 
main, I concur. Yet that there has been a great intermingling of races in 
India, is indisputable. This is manifest from the countenances alone of many 
members of the lower castes. Some of these, especially the children, are of 
great beauty ; and have thin lips, a well-moulded face, and an expression of in- 
teUigence equal, and even superior to, multitudes of Brahmans. An exempli- 
fication of this observation is sometimes strikingly seen in the caste under review. 

In regard to the origin of the Cham^ caste, we are not left to mere assump- 
tions. Manu states it authoritatively. The K&rftvara, or worker in leatheri he 
says, is descended from a NishS^da father and Yaidiha mother (a). Now the 
Nish&da, on the same authority, is the offspring of a Brahman husband and 
Sudra wife (6); and the Vaidiha, of a Vaisya husband and Brahman wife (c). 
Consequently, the E&r&vara was one-half of Brahmanical, one-fourth of Vaisya, 
and one-fourth of Sudra descent. If the workers in leather of the present day 
are lineal descendants of the workers in leather of Manu's time, the Cham&rs 
may fairly consider themselves of no mean degree, and may hold up their 
heads boldly in the presence of the superior castes. The rigidity and ex- 
clusiveness of caste prejudices among the Cham&rs, are highly favorable to this 
supposition, as much so as, for the same reason, modern Brahmans may be held 
to be the posterity of Brahman ancestors who lived two thousand five hundred 
years ago. 

(a) Manu, Chap. X, p. 36 ; eee IntroductioxL 

(b) Ibid, p. 8. 

(c) Ibid, p. 17. 


There is a tradition common among the Chamftrs, from which, if true, 
we may gather that, in former times, Brahmans and Cham&rs associated together 
in friendly intercourse, a thing impossible in the existing age. In the Sat Jug 
two men, one a Brahman, the other a Cham^r, it is said, were accustomed to 
bathe together in the Ganges. One day the Cham&r, not being able to perform 
his ablutions as usual, requested the Brahman to make obeisance to the river 
in his name. The Brahman complied with his request, and while in the act 
of doing so, Gangd^, the goddess of the sacred stream, appeared, and receiving 
the o£Pering with both her hands, removed from her wrist a valuable kangan 
or bracelet, and gave it to the Brahman for presentation to the Chamar. But 
the Brahman kept it to himself ; on which account he was cursed by the god- 
dess, who declared that thenceforward he should beg for his subsistence. From 
that time, it is added, Brahmans have been beggars. 

The Cham&rs speak of themselves as having sprung from a common an- 
cestor, NonS, Cham&r, whose name they invoke in times of sorrow and trouble, 
or when visited by sickness, or bitten by snakes, or stung by scorpions, 
or generally in any season of calamity. The NonS; Chamain (female of 
ChamS^r) is regarded by Hindu families as a witch, whose invisible presence 
and agency are to be avoided by the performance of certain ceremonies and 
incantations. Hindu children are bidden to beware of Nond/ Chamain, and 
have their imaginations excited by dread of her, in the same way as English 
children are frightened at the mention of ghosts and goblins. The caste has 
seven sub-divisions in Benares, which are somewhat different in other places. 

1. Jaisw&rS,. The principal sub-caste. Many JaiswdrlLs are servants. 

2. Dhiisia or JhMa. Shoe-makers and harness-makers. 

3. Kori. Weavers, grooms, field-laborers. 

4. Dosfidh. Weavers, grooms, field-laborers. 

5. Kuril. Workers in leather. 

6. Eangiya. Leather-dyers. 

7. J&tM. Labourers. 

The Jaiswftr&s do not carry burdens on their shoulders, but on their heads. 
Should they, at any time, neglect this ancient custom of their order, they would 
be liable to ejection from their caste. . Next to them, in the above list, should 
properly be inserted the Cham&r Mangatiwas, who are really as distinct a sub- 
division as any of the rest. These people are professional beggars, and subsist 
on the generosity of the Jaisw&rfts. Once a year they visit all the families of 
this minor caste, and have a recognized prescriptive right to a pice (a small cop- 

L— 2 


per coin, in value between a farthing and a half-penny) and a round flat cake, 
called roH^ from every house. This much they can claim ; but they occasionally 
receive other small favors, in addition. The same families of Cham&r Man- 
gatiwas, or {heir descendants, beg of the same families of Jaisw&r&s, or their 
descendants, from generation to generation. This is their only source of liveli- 
hood, and on]y occupation. 

The Dhiisias properly belong to Ghazipftr and other districts further East, 
where they may intermarry with the Jaiswftrd.s, though in Benares they keep 
aloof from them. All these sub-divisional castes in Benares are separate from 
one another, including the Cham&r Mangatiwas, — who form in reality an eighth 
sub-caste, — and do not intermarry or eat cooked food together. The Koris come 
from Oudh ; the Kurils from the Central and Lower DoS.b ; the Jfttft&s from the 
Western Provinces (a). In the supplemental Glossary of Sir Henry Elliot, edited 
by Mr. Beames, the latter states in a note that Jhftsia is a mere local name, from 
Jhi^si, near Allahabad. That the Dhdsias or Jhftsias may have originally pro- 
ceeded from a village or town named Dhftsi or Jhtksi, is probable ; but in regard 
to this clan of Cham&rs, the tribe generally assigns to them the country eastward 
of Saidpiir, in the Ghazip^r district, as is so accurately stated in the text by 
Sir Henry Elliot, and not that of Allahabad and its neighbourhood. From 
enquiry I understand that there are none of this sub-division at Jhftsi, near 

The Dosidhs are very numerous in, and in the districts of Go- 
rakhpftr and Ghazipt^r. In each of the two latter districts, they number upwards 
of twenty thousand persons. There are also many in Benares, Azimgarh, 
Mirzapiir, and the Lower Do4b. In some places they are addicted to agricul- 
ture ; but in others, as Ghazip(ir, they are notorious thieves and scoundrels. 
Mr. E. A. Reade states that many Dosd^dhs were amongst the native troops who 
fought under Clive at the battle of Plassey ; and adds that * they are strong, 
take service readily, and are generally trustworthy' {b). The clan is some- 
times employed in very menial occupations, for instance, as executioners, and 
to remove dead bodies. 

Two other clans in Benares have come under my notice : — 

1. Katua. Leather-cutters. 

2. Tantua. These manufacture strips or strings of leather, 

called tdnt. 

(a) Elliot*B Supplemental Glossarj, Vol. I., p. 70. 

(bj Mr. E. A. Reade'8 Inferior Castes of the North- Western Provinces, p. 16. 



I'he Cham&rs form one of the most numerous tribes in these Provinces, 
where, according to the Census of 1865, they exceed three millions and a half. 
They are found largely in every district, except on the hills, where their num- 
bers are small. They are a hard-working, plodding, though down-trodden and 
degraded people. It would be worthy of the enterprising and progressive 
Government of these Provinces to pay special attention to the elevation of this 
and other similarly laborious and debased tribes. 

In various parts of these Provinces, the Cham&rs have clans differing from 
those given above. The Jatlots are in Rohilkhand; the Aharw&rs, Sakarw&rs^ 
and Doh&rs, in the Central Do&b ; the Garaiyas, Magahyas, Dakshiniyas, and 
Eanaujiyas, in Behar (a). 


A very low caste, much lower, for instance, than the Cham4rs, or workers 
in leather, yet considerably above the Doms. The members are permitted to 
come near a high caste Hindu, and are therefore not treated with absolute con- 
tempt. They are workers in reeds and canes, and manufacture cane stools and 
chairs, palm-leaf fans, matting for floors, and the like. Some of them are 
employed as porters. The caste has seven sub-divisions, as follows : — 

Tfie Dharkdr caste of Benares. 

The Dharkdr caste of Mirzapur. 

1. Ben-banst. 

1. Ben-bansi. 

2. Turia. 

2. Bar(i&. 

3. Ajudhia-bSst. 

3. Basor. 

4. Baskhor or Bansphor. 

4. Dakhaniya. 

5. Litkah&. 

5. Barjlha. 

6, Basor. 

6. Gh&tiya. 

7. Thop. 

7. Dom. 

There is a considerable discrepancy in these two lists. This, however, to 
one accustomed to the ignorance of the inferior castes, is no matter for as- 
tonishment. I believe that a dozen lists taken in the same number of towns 
would be all different, not only in regard to this caste, but also in regard to 
most of the lower castes. 

These sub-divisional castes are really distinct castes, and do not intermarry 
or eat together. The Ben-bansis are the most respectable, and, in social 

(a) Supplemental Glossarj, Yol. I., p. 71. 


jHmtian, are beld to be superior to die rest. The Dom indnded in die MiiZ34iAr 
]]5it is a mistake. In eomparison widi kim a Dhaikir is a dean and honoaUe 
man. Some of die Doms are workers in cane and make bad^ets, like die 
Dbarkirs, which drcomstance ms^ aeconnt for dieir being erroneooslj ranked 
by manj nadres anKmgst die Dhark^ snb-castes. Yet Dharkirs oeeasionallj 
say diat die Doms belong to dieir tribe, and Doms sometimes say die same. 
See die section on the Doms* 

The Vhsakkn are fonnd chiefly in die districts to the east of die Jnmna, 
where they are numerous. In Gorakhpftr they nnmber upwards of ten thousand 
persons, and in Mirzapftr they are more than fire thousand. 

Mihiar^ BhangU Baldlkhar, or Chuhrd. 

The Sweeper or Scayenger caste, a very unclean and despicable tribe, in 
the opinion of Hindus. It has seven sub-diyifflons, which Tary in different 
places* In Benares diey are as follows: — 

1. Shaikh. 

2. Held. 

3. Laibegt 

4. Ghazipftrl B&ftt« 

5. DtnftptelBiftt. 

6. BSat. 

7. Bftnsphor (Bamboo-cutters.) 

The Shaikhs are Mahomedans. The Helas are distinguished from the rest 
by not touching dogs, an important distinction, in the eyes of the caste, because 
the cleaning and feeding of dogs is one of the usual duties that it performs. 
Many gendemen keep Mihtars solely for diis purpose. Moreover, die Helas 
will not eat food left by all people, only that left by Hindus (a). The L&l- 
begls and Gbsaiptat B&ftts, on die contrary, will eat food left at die tables of 
Europeans, as well as die leavings of Hindus. There are many members of 
the first four sub^visions in Benares. The Dlnftpftri R&ftts agree in taste 
with the Helas, in rejecting the food of Europeans ; and therefore keep 
themselves quite apart from the Ghazipftrl BdAts. There are no families of 
Hftrls in Benares ; but here and there one may be found engaged in some 
menial calling. The B&nsphors^are not properly sweepers at all, for they gain 
a livelihood by the manufacture of baskets. 

In MirzapAr I heard of anodier sub-caste of Mihtars, called Gradahla. 
These people rear donkeys, and use them for removing reftise from the city. 

(aj £IIiot*s Supplemental Gloasaiy, Vol. I^ p. 92. 


All these sub-castes are perfectly distinct from one another, and do not inter* 
marry. Mr. P. Camegy states that in Oudh, however, the various clans do 
intermarry. Most of them in some other districts of India will eat the flesh 
of animals that die of disease or old age ; but not in Benares. It is optional 
with the caste to bury or burn their dead. The Shaikhs of course follow the 
Mahomedan custom of burial. The Ld.lbegis once a year erect a long pole 
covered with flags, colored cloth, and other things, including cocoa-nuts, in 
honor of Plr Zahr or Lfil Guru, as he is otherwise called ; to which they render 
worship as to a god. In this they are like the low Mahomedans, who worship 
a similarly decorated pole, erected to 6&zl MiS^n, a plr or saint. 

Sir H. Elliot gives the following list of the sub-divisions of the Mihtars: 
Banlw&l, Btlparw&r, Tftk, Gahlot, KhoU, Gkgrk, Sardhi, Chand&lia, Sirs&w&l, 
and Siriy&r ; and says that they differ from the Helas and EMts. In Benares, 
however, as I have observed above, the two last clans are included in the tribe, 
although it is possible they may be excluded elsewhere. 

In viUages the Mihtar is commonly called Chfthrft, although the other 
designations are also in use. 

Mr. E. A. Reade remarks respecting the Bhangls, that ^ they are known 
to be brave, and to aspire to military service. Runjeet Singh had one or more 
Bhangi corps. But they cannot be assorted with other classes without much 
prejudice' (a). 

(a J Mr. E. A. Readers Inferior Castes of ibe North- Western Frovinoes, p. 25. 





This is one of the lowest of the castes. It is not regarded by Hindus 
proper as allied in any way to themselves. There is reason for believing that 
the FS^sls are an aboriginal race. My own conviction is, that they are also of a 
non- Aryan type. They have, however, sunk so low socially, and have been so 
long despised and shunned by the conquering tribes, as to have lost all traces 
of former independence and honour. Their Own tradition is, that they sprang 
from the famous Farasrd^m, not in the order of nature, but from the perspiration 
that flowed from his forehead, by which five PUsts were produced, from whom 
the entire race has descended. This interesting event is said to have taken 
place at Anantdl in Oudh. 

In villages Fists are commonly employed as watchmen to catch thieves ; in 
return for which they receive either a plot of land or some other consideration. 
Should they fail in producing the thief who has stolen any property, they have 
to make good the loss. In addition, FS^sts tend pigs, and labour in fields and 
gardens. Some of the F&st men are said to be of fair complexion. They are 
divided into several sub-castes, or clans, as follows : — 

1. Jaiswiri. 

2. EainswS^t, or Kaithw&n. 

3. Gfijar. 

4. Tirsuliya. 

5. Fastw&n. 

6. Chiriyam&r. 

7. Biadfh. 

8. Bih&rl. 

9. Bhar (?). 

I have also heard the Belkhars spoken of as Fisls. The P&sls reckon the 
Khatiks as one of the clans of their caste, although the Khatiks have seven 


clans of their own, one of which, however, embraces the PUsls. The Bhars are 
sometimes classed among the PS^sls. They have a tradition that in ancient 
times they were one and the same race, which is indeed very probable. A 
separate treatise on the Bhars is given in this work, to which the reader is 
referred for further information respecting this interesting but unfortunate 
people. Their custom at marriage festivals is noticed in the section on the 
Khatiks. As these inferior tribes evidently coalesce with one another now, it 
is, I conceive, exceedingly probable that in ancient times they were associated 

The Pdsls were once very powerful in Oudh. " In the Kheri (Mahomadi) 
district," says Mr. P. Camegy, " the Pstsls, Raj p& sis, Aruks, Motls, and 
Khatiks, are looked upon as kindred classes. The Rajpftsts of that part of 
Oudh say that they are descended from Ratan Datt Singh, a Thfi,kur of Pataun- 
g&h near Nimkhftr, and a P&sl woman who bore him several children. These 
at his death are said to have inherited their father's estate ; and, in time, from 
them a powerful clan has descended. They are alleged to have usurped, and to 
have held, for some generations, the great Matholi estate, their chief assuming 
the title of Raja ; and they attribute their loss of that property to the treachery 
of the head of the Ahban clan of Rajpoots, between whose daughter and the son 
of the Rajp£lst chief a marriage was being arranged." This Rajpoot, he adds, 
put to death most of the Rajpists whom he had invited to the wedding, and 
seized their lands. Those who escaped settled in other parts of the country. 

Mr. Camegy gives the following sub-divisions of the P&sls in the Stt&pftr 
district: Rajp&sl, Aruk, Bachar, Mohni, Khatik. "It is affirmed," he says, 
" by some that they are a branch of the Eer&t tribe of Dw&rkft. An heroic 
Pas! named Sen of Barniya, figures prominently in the poetical accounts of the 
celebrated battles of Alft and Udal ; and this gives colour to their asserted con- 
nexion with ancient Kanouj, where those heroes flourished. It seems to be 
admitted in the Stt&ptir district, that the P&sts were once entire masters of 
Khairftbd^d. The Aruks of Ehair&b&d state that their ancestors formerly ruled 
in Chittore, and that members of their tribe abound in other trans-Gangetic 
districts. Others of the Araks say that they are descended from Ratan Dich, 
who lived in the days of the Mahftbh&rat war. There is a considerable Aruk 
colony in Pargannah Atrol&, of the Gondfth district, the members of which say 
that their ancestor came from S&ndila in Hardui " (a). 

fa J Mr. p. Camegy'f Ra ees of Oadh, pp. 61, 62. 



The lower castes, to some extent, run into one another. For instance, the 
F&st caste enumerates several clans, such as the Ehatik and GAjar, as belong- 
ing to themselves, which are properly distinct tribes. The reason of this is 
generally to be found in the similarity of their employment, although they take 
care not to intermarry or to eat together. In this way the Khatiks also include 
the P&sls among the clans of their castes. These are seven, as follows : — 

1. BakarE&S&o. 

2. Chalan MahrS^o. 

3. Ghor CharS^o. 

4. Ajudhiya-b&sl. 

5. Sunkhar. 

6. Baurea. 

7. pasi. 

The first clan, Dakar E& S&o, sells and slaughters goats. The Chalan 
Mahr^os are workers in leather, especially in using it for covering or lining. 
The Gh6r CharS^os are grooms. The Ajudhiya-bftsls came originally from 
Ajudhiya in Oudh. They sell fruit and vegetables, and do general work for 
hire. The Sunkhars are poulterers and fruit-sellers. All these sub-castes feed 
swine, and consequently are regarded with abomination by the upper castes. 
None of them intermarry, or eat together. At one time the Sunkhars and P&sls 
smoked the same hookah, but the former have so sunk in the estimation of the 
latter from the time that they commenced to trade in poultry, that this act of 
mutual esteem and confidence has been discontinued. Some of the Khatiks 
extract the tari or arrack from the palm tree. Others are butchers, and stone- 
cutters ; but as a class they rear poultry and pigs. 

At the marriage festivals of Khatiks, including P&sts, boys dress themselves 
in women's clothes and dance in public ; but the Bhars, who are sometimes 
classed among the P&sis, do not observe this custom, and make use of the drum 
and other instruments of music on such occasions, which the others do not. 

The Khatiks are a numerous caste, and are found in almost every district 
of these Provinces. 


The Dom is generally considered by Hindus to be the type and representa- 
tive of all uncleanness. In their opinion humanity finds its extremest degra- 
dation in him. If they regard him at all, it is from a distance ; but any near 
approach would awaken in their breasts the utmost abhorrence. He is loathed 


and avoided as scum and filth ; in short, no language can properly designate the 
social degradation of his position. 

The occupation of the Dom is, in some respects, the same as that of the 
Dharkftr caste, namely to make cane chairs and stools, and palm-leaf fans. He 
also manufactures various articles from the bark of the bamboo. He eats the 
flesh of diseased animals, and of such as die of their own accord. He is usually 
very poor, and is dressed in tattered garments. But this is not always the case ; 
for in Benares there are two or three families of this caste living in good houses, 
and possessing considerable wealth. In the same city Doms are commonly 
employed as street-sweepers. 

In Benares, and perhaps in other cities of India likewise, the burning of 
the dead cannot be performed without the assistance of the Dom. On the 
arrival of the dead body at the place of cremation, which in that city is at the 
base of one of the steep stairs or ghats^ called the Burning Ghllt, leading down 
from the streets above to the bed of the river Ganges, the Dom supplies five 
logs of wood, which he lays in order upon the ground, the rest of the wood 
being given by the family of the deceased. When the pile is ready for burning, 
a handful of lighted straw is brought by the Dom, and is taken from him and 
applied by one of the chief members of the family to the wood. The Dom is 
the only person who can furnish the light for the purpose ; and if from any 
circumstance the services of one cannot be obtained, great delay and inconve- 
nience are apt to arise. The Dom exacts his fee for three things, namely first 
for the five logs, secondly, for the bunch of straw, and, thirdly, for the light. 

Some persons have thought, and with great reason, that the members of 
this caste, if indeed it can be called such, are descendants of an aboriginal tribe. 
Dark complexioned, low of stature, and somewhat repulsive in appearance, they 
are readily distinguishable from aU the better castes of Hindus. From their 
aspect they seem to have sprung originally from the jungles rather than from 
civilized regions. Yet there is reason for supposing that in early times they 
were a people of some power and importance. There is a tradition that they 
formerly occupied the country beyond the Gogra river, and were neighbours of 
the Bhars, another aboriginal race. Remains of ancient forts still bear their 
name (a). Their degradation may be accounted for in the same manner as 
that of the Bhars, namely by being conquered and subjected by Hindus, who 
instead of introducing them into their own castes, a course never adopted with 

(aj EUiot*8 SapplemeDtal Glossary, Vol. I., p. 84. 

M— 2 


the aborigines of the land throughout aU the ages of Hinduism, behaved towards 
them in the true spirit of caste prejudice and pride, and treated them at length 
with all the contempt of which they were capable, so that they gradually sank 
to the present position of extremest abjectness which they at present occupy. 

In the Province of Eumaon, the Doms are a much more respectable class of 
people than those bearing the same name in Benares and the eastern districts 
generally. They are in fact the artizan class, and are employed as carpenters, 
masons, and the like. 

Respecting this race, Sir H. £lliot remarks, that '^ tradition fixes their 
residence to the north of the Gogra, touching the Bhars on the east, in the 
vicinity of Rohini. Several old forts testify to their former importance, and 
still retain the names of their founders ; as, for instance, Domdiha and Doman- 
garh. Rftmgarh and Sahankot, on the Rohini, are also Dom forts " (a). 

Achdrj or Achdrya. 

The term Achftrj is used variously. It is applied to a religious teacher, 
and also to the head of a Hindu monastery, and to the chief priest of a temple. 
Wilson says that it designates those Brahmans who are employed among the 
Marathas as cooks. It is a title, moreover, he affirms, of Tamil carpenters and 
other artisans (h). In certain parts of the North- Western Provinces, a very 
low class of persons are called Achdrj. These receive the clothing of persons 
after their death. 

(a) Elliot's Supplemental Gloflsary, Vol. L, p. 84. 
(6) Wil80ii*8 Glofisaiy, p. 3. 






A TBiBE chiefly employed in felUng the jungle. They are an industrious and 
active people. ^ They put their hands to any service, and are able-bodied and 
well-conducted' (a). Wilson remarks that the Dh&ngars are ^ a tribe of people 
inhabiting the hill country in Rftmgarh and Chhotft NftgpAr. Some of them 
come periodically to the plains for employment, and are enjoyed as labourers 
and scavengers' {b). These Dh&ngars appear to be different from the shepherds 
and wool- weavers of this name in Southern India, although they may be the 
same as the Dh&ngar cultivators of Tellngllna ; yet I suppose, these are much 
higher in social rank than the Dhftngars of Northern India. 

The Dh&ngars are foimd chiefly in Gorakhptfr and Behar; but they are met 
with, to some extent, both in Benares and Mirzapftr. 


A caste consisting of only one clan. Their special and peculiar occupation 
is to stitch together large leaves by the insertion of smaU wooden pegs. They 
make a kind of cup for shop-keepers in the bazar, in which they wrap their wares 
when sold. On occasion of great dinners given by private families, or at caste 
banquets, which are very numerous, and to which all the castes are addicted, 
they make broad platters of leaves, for holding the food intended for the 
guests. In addition, they are employed as torch-bearers, and also as barbers. 
Formerly, it is said, they proved themselves excellent soldiers in the king of 
Oudh's service ; and some of them even became Rajas {c). Their widows 

(a) Mr. E. A. Beade*8 Inferior Castes of the North- Western FroYinoes, pp. 15, 16. 

(6) Wil8on*8 Glossary, p. 185. 

(o) Elliot's Supplemental Qlossaiy, VoL I., p. 49 ; Wilsoc's Glossary of Indian Terms, p. 64. 


remarry. As the Bftrts of necessity spend much of their time in the jangle in 
collecting leaves, they are not only employed in their special occupation of 
stitching them together, but also in cutting down the trees of the forest. They 
have the reputation of great fidelity to their employers. Hindus have a proverb, 
^ the Bftrl dies fighting for his master (a).' 



A low tribe living chiefly in the jungles, where they collect together broad 
leaves, and manufacture tiny skewers of wood intended for stitching leaves 
into various shapes, such as, plates or cups, for eating food from, or for holding 
sweatmeats, rice, and other things. They bring the leaves in great bundles, and 
the skewers also, into the city for sale. This tribe is I think the same as that 
described by Wilson as Beda, the members of which are considered to be out- 
castes, or Chand&ls, and live by the chase as hunters and fowlers (b). 


This word is the same as * dh&nukh,' a bow. The members of the tribe or 
caste are fowlers and archers. They are also employed as watchmen, and in 
various menial occupations. The women of this caste are in great request in 
towns and cities as midwives. 

The Dh&nukhs have descended, according to the Padma Fur&n&, says 
Sir H. Elliot, from a Ch&mar husband and a Chand&l wife. ^ From Dhftnokhs 
have proceeded the Aheriyas, who are also occupied as fowlers. Aheriyas are 
said not to consume dead carcases as the Dh&uukhs do.' This caste has no ob- 
jection to the flesh of pigs. The seven sub-divisions of this caste, are, on the 
same authority, as foUows : — 

1. Longbasta. 5. Magahya. 

2. Mathuriya. 6. Dojw&r. 

3. Kathariya. 7. Chhilatya. 

4. Jaisw&rit. 

These clans hold no social intercourse with one another either in the way 
of marriage, or of eating, drinking, or smoking. 

In some districts the caste is very numerous. In Sh&jahS.nptir, Bareilly, 
Farakhab&d, Mainpiiri, Etawah, and Cawnpftr, it numbers many thousands. 
Smaller communities are found in other places. 

(a) Mr. Reade's Inferior Races of the North- Western ProTinces, p. 14. 
{h) Wilson's GloesMy, p. 70. 


Afielit/a or Aheriya. 

A tribe of wild and uncivilized people, exceedingly poor, and almost desti' 
tute of clothing. They catch snakes, roast, and eat them. This in fact is the 
chief employment of some of them. In various parts of the country they are 
brought under better influences than those to which they were formerly ex- 
posed ; so that there is reason to hope for their improvement. Indeed, in some 
places, as in the Aligarh district, they are beginning to cultivate land, and are 
becoming more civilized every day. Even there, however, they are still notori- 
ously bad characters. 

The Aheliyas are, to some extent, fowlers. Elliot says they sprang from 
the DhUnukhs. 


An Account of Benares in Ancient and Modem Times. 

" The author's style is throughout glowing and picturesque, his descriptions are Tivid and powerful, and 
we feel sure that the work will afford much pleasant reading to all who are fascinated by the wonderful 
myths of the early history of India. The volume, as a whole, is a valuable contribution to our literature, and 
affords much information respecting the monuments of some of the most extraordinary races of the Aryan 
family ; which will recommend it to the philologist and antiquarian.** — Examiner, 

" A very valuable Indian topographical work, with a most interesting concluding chapter about the prosent 
religious agitation in Indisky^-Athenaufn. 

** The student of the book wUl grow fiuniliar with every temple, ghat, and institution in Benares ; will 
know the days of every Hindu festival, the numbers attending it, the rites observed, the sacrifices offered, 
and many of the legends connected with each.*' 

<* We can heartily commend his (Mr. Sherring's) worik to those seeking solid information on a subject of 
increasing interest.**— 'S/'ectotor. 

** His descriptions are clear; his notes of legends are suggestive ; and his pictures of actual Hindoo life 
are veiy vivid. In his closing chapter, he gives a calm and evidently truthful view of the position of Chris- 
tianity, and mentions facts about the * inquiring spirit* awakened, even in such a centre of idolatry as Benares, 
which will be read with delight by a huge section of our countrymen.** — Imperial Review, 

" Mr. Sherring has produced a description of Benares and its associations, its past condition, and ita 
present every-day life, which combines exact topographical details with the most picturesque associations.**-— 
Friend of India. 

TrUbner and Go., London ; Thacker, Spink and Go., Calcatta ; and the Medical EUdl Press, Benares. 





Bodleian Library